Would This Do Anything To The Social Security Disability Programs?
Employers should brace for an expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing a bill that would broaden the reach of the ADA, the landmark 1990 federal law that prohibits discrimination against the disabled. Current law applies only to disabilities that "substantially limit a major life activity." Proposed legislation eliminates this qualifier, with the result that anyone with a physical or mental impairment would be covered. ...
Businesses can't count on a veto by President Bush to stop the measure. The original ADA was part of his father's legacy, and he may be reluctant to block an expansion. But the president, with backing from Senate Republicans, is likely to push for changes to make the legislation less onerous to employers. One possible compromise would include adding a list of diseases and conditions that would be covered by the ADA. It would not be an exhaustive list, but one designed to limit the scope of the bill.
Because of the short legislative calendar this election year, the bill may not make it through Congress in 2008. If it doesn't, it's a good bet for 2009. And if Democrats win the White House and expand their majorities in the House and Senate, the eventual bill will be tougher on employers than if Republicans can force a compromise this year.