ADAAA Having Major Impact Five Years Later
It is important for K-12 talent managers to stay up-to-date with state and federal legislation impacting labor, human resources, and education. Since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) by Congress in 2008, there has been a dramatic increase in claims and settlement amounts. But, why is the ADAAA making headlines five years later?
In his February 2013 article "ADA Statistics Show Reinvigorated Law," Allen Smith of the Society of Human Resource Management discusses a recent report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicating that some of the largest increases in mental and physical disability settlements around the country have occurred in recent years. Recent data shows that over the past ten years, ADA settlements have increased from $239,388 (with 11 individuals who benefited from claims) in 1992 to $103.37 million (with 6,554 individuals who benefited from claims) in 2012.
Why have we seen a dramatic rise in ADA-related claims and settlement amounts? Jonathan Segal, partner at Duane Morris LLP, writes in a recent article in Fortune, "What's behind the surge in disability claims?" that the increase in claims, "has a lot to do with a legal change from 2008," including the expanded definition of the term "disability".
I encourage K-12 talent managers to visit the EEOC's website. As the official enforcement body for the ADAAA, the EEOC provides a plethora of helpful resources about the law and what employers need to do to comply. I would also suggest taking time to read and understand "reasonable accommodation" as well as view the EEOC's Fact Sheet on implementing the ADAAA. If you have specific questions on this topic or are in need of legal advice, I suggest you contact your legal counsel.
For more information on human capital and talent management in education, you can follow me on Twitter: @EmilyDouglasHC