ACLU Urges House Committee to Support ADA Restoration Act

January 29, 2008 12:00 am

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Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded the House Committee on Education and Labor for holding a hearing on H.R. 3195, the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Restoration Act.

The original ADA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1990 and was heralded by Republican and Democratic leaders as the “emancipation proclamation” for people with disabilities. However, due to a series of Supreme Court decisions that have narrowed the definition of disability under the ADA, the vast majority of ADA cases brought against private employers have been dismissed by the courts.

The ADA Restoration Act restores the original intent of the ADA by clarifying that anyone with an impairment, regardless of his or her successful use of treatments to manage the impairment, is entitled to seek a reasonable accommodation in the workplace. Specifically, this legislation:

  • amends the definition of disability so that individuals whom Congress originally intended to protect from discrimination are covered under the ADA;
  • prevents the courts from considering the use of treatment or other accommodations when deciding whether an individual qualifies for protection under the ADA; and
  • focuses on whether individuals can demonstrate they were treated less favorably on the basis of disability.

The following can be attributed to ACLU Legislative Counsel Joanne Lin:

“It is time to fix the problems created by the Supreme Court. The ADA Restoration Act would reestablish Congress’ original intent in passing the ADA and restore the Act to its place as one of our country’s great civil rights laws.”

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