WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, today, submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's proposed regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).
“The ADAAA adheres to Congress’s expressed intent that the focus on ADA cases should be on whether discrimination happened as opposed to whether someone meets the definition of a disability,” explained AFGE National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Augusta Thomas. “We are pleased to see the ADA expanded. For too long, the ADA has languished under strict Supreme Court cases which created an almost impossible burden of proof that reduced protections for many individuals with disabilities.”
Included in the proposed ADAAA regulations is a list of impairments that consistently meet the definition of disability such as deafness, blindness, autism, mobility impairments, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS and more. In her comments, Thomas applauded the EEOC’s efforts “in establishing this list because too frequently federal government employees with the aforementioned impairments have been burdened with establishing that these conditions substantially limit a major life activity. Many failed to meet this requirement and subsequently were denied a reasonable accommodation and/or their day in court.”
“We look forward to seeing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 implemented. This is a huge step for equality in the workplace and ensuring that no individual can be discriminated against because of their disability. With the inclusion of recommendations, we offer our full support for this amendment,” concluded Thomas.