EEOC Votes to Conform to ADA Amendments Act

June 17, 2009 ( - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has voted to revise its regulations to conform to changes made by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

The ADA Amendments Act, which went into effect January 1, 2009 (see Bush Pens ADA Change Bill into Law ), makes important changes to the definition of the term “disability,” by adding definitions of “substantially limits” and “major life activity” to the law. The new law provides a list of activities that constitute major life activities.

In addition, the bill instructs courts that the “question of whether an individual’s impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.”

The ADAAA states that Congress expects the EEOC to revise its regulations to conform to changes made by the Act, and expressly authorizes the EEOC to do so, the agency said in a press release. The Commission voted 2-1 to adopt the rules changes at a public meeting at the agency’s Washington headquarters. The five-member body has two vacancies.

A previous attempt to agree on an EEOC rule implementing ADA changes resulted in a stalemate among the then four-member Commission (see Implementing EEOC Rule for ADA Changes Stalls ).