Could You Now Qualify as a Disabled Employee?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 01, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

New EEOC guidelines have been released revising the definition of what constitutes a disability under the ADA.

The guidelines, ordered by the ADA Amendments Act, significantly expand what counts as a disability for discrimination purposes.

With these changes, you may now be a legally disabled employee.

Up until now, courts have narrowly interpreted what meets the criteria of a disability under the ADA. They required a disabled employee to show that their medical condition significantly limited a major life activity. This is no more.

A disability can now be shown by demonstrating that an ailment impacts a major bodily function.

This means that a disabled employee can function on a day to day basis, but still receive ADA protection if he suffers from an endocrine disorder (diabetes), neurological condition (bipolar disorder), or an immune deficiency disorder (HIV).

If you suffer from a periodic condition, such as epilepsy, or have a condition currently in remission, you are also a legally disabled employee.

The purpose of the new rules, according to the EEOC, is to instruct employers and courts to interpret "disability" to the "maximum extent allowable under the law." Hundreds of thousands more workers will receive ADA protection under this directive.

The EEOC ADA regulations apply to all claims beginning on January 1, 2009, reports Disability Scoop.

So if you think you are a disabled employee under the new rules, and you were denied a requested reasonable accommodation or subject to disability discrimination, contact an employment lawyer. You may now be entitled to compensation.

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