The Americans with Disabilities Act was expanded in 2008 with amendments that were added in order to overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions that interpreted the ADA narrowly. The final version of the expanded ADA was made final at the end of March with interpretations to the amendments. The expanded law includes more conditions that will “virtually always” be considered a disability under the law, according to the American Bar Association Journal’s law blog.
The expanded list of conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, HIV, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, muscular dystrophy and autism.
According to a recent post on the ABA Journal’s blog by Debra Cassens Weiss, the expanded ADA could lead to more class action lawsuits claiming discrimination to be filed against employers.
Cases used to be viewed more individually by the courts, but this list could mean that a group of employees with the protected condition of cancer could file a lawsuit together under the ADA and have a better chance of gaining class-action status.
Employees with one of these conditions will also have an easier time filing an individual lawsuit because they do not have to prove that their condition fits under the definition of disability or whether their employer is biased against the condition, but only whether they experienced discrimination while working for their employer.
New ADA Regs Could Lead to More Disability Class Actions (ABA Journal)