How Will the Changes Affect Our Business? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) estimates that the new Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) regulations that go into effect today will result in between 400,000 and 1.2 million new accommodations for employees across the U.S. over the next year at a mean annual cost of $150 per accommodation. The new regulations can be found at: http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-6056.
The EEOC’s regulations are expressly intended to broaden coverage to the maximum extent permitted by the ADAAA. For employers operating in Washington who are already subject to the broader definition of disability under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”), the impact may likely be minimal. For employers operating in states that interpret their state disability protection laws similarly to the ADA, such as Oregon and Alaska, the new regulations will undoubtedly mean that more employees qualify for coverage under the ADAAA’s broader definition of disability and, in turn, will be entitled to request and receive reasonable accommodations.
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