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Seyfarth Shaw Partner Camille A. Olson, Senate Witness for ADA Amendments Act, Comments on President's Signing of Bill into Law
Date:9/25/2008

Seyfarth Shaw LLP, one of America’s leading full-service law firms, today released the following statement from Camille A. Olson, a Senate and House witness who provided testimony on the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADA Amendments Act) and Chair of the national law firm’s Complex Discrimination Litigation Practice Group:

CHICAGO (Business Wire EON) September 25, 2008 -- "The President's signing of the ADA Amendments Act today reflects the coming together of the business community and disability advocates who worked toward the common goal of meeting the needs of employees without compromising the competitiveness of America's businesses.

"This new law, effective January 1, 2009, expands the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA Amendments Act, millions of Americans may now claim to be disabled who prior to the new law were not considered to have a disability.

"The ADA Amendments Act undoes the Supreme Court's decisions on lawsuits brought under the ADA for over a decade, and every federal and state court decision that hinged on the reasoning of the Supreme Court's decisions on those lawsuits is now brought into question and may be wiped away. The ADA Amendments Act effectively resets our understanding of how employers and employees can best work together to address employees' disability-related requests for accommodation.

"The ADA Amendments Act may likely spark new lawsuits brought by plaintiffs seeking to test the law. For America's employers, this means that the rules they have learned and adopted concerning disability accommodation requests no longer apply. In the era of the ADA Amendments Act, many people with a treatable impairment could be considered disabled. Employers need to immediately look at their existing policies, handbooks, procedures and job descriptions to determine whe
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