SEMA eNews Vol. 11, No. 39, September 25, 2008

CONGRESS CLARIFIES COVERAGE OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)

Congress passed legislation which will overturn two Supreme Court decisions that had narrowed the definition of "disability" under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). In Sutton vs. United Airlines and Toyota vs. Williams, the court ruled that an individual must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities in order to "qualify" as disabled.

The court held that it is not enough for someone to be severely limited in their ability to perform a workplace activity. Instead, the limitation must extend to a major life activity outside the workplace as well. The National Association of Manufacturers, of which SEMA is a member, worked with lawmakers and organizations representing the disability community to redefine "disability" in a way that strikes a delicate balance in providing coverage while clarifying the obligations and requirements of employers. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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