June 6, 2013

EEOC Issues New Guidance on Cancer, Epilepsy, Diabetes, and Intellectual Disabilities

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new Q&A documents regarding the effect on the ADAAA on the definition of "disability," as applied to individuals with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. Prior to the ADAAA's enactment in 2009, courts had, at times, held that each of these conditions was not a disability under the ADA because the condition did not have a substantial enough impact on the individual's daily life. As reported in a previous Client Alert, in enacting the ADAAA, Congress lowered the bar for individuals to prove they are "disabled" and entitled to reasonable accommodation and protection from discrimination. 


The EEOC's new Q&A documents provide helpful guidance for employers who have applicants or employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, or intellectual disabilities. Each document states that an individual with one of these conditions "should easily be found to have a disability" under the ADA. Each document also provides employers with guidance on (1) what types of inquiries employers may make of applicants or employees with these conditions, (2) what types of reasonable accommodations employers might make for applicants or employees with these conditions, (3) how employers might handle safety concerns regarding applicants or employees with these conditions, and (4) what employers should do to help prevent harassment of employees with these or other disabling conditions. 


For more information about the EEOC's new documents, or for assistance on any other employment-related matter, please feel free to contact any member of Ahlers & Cooney's Employment and Labor Law Practice Area.



Ahlers & Cooney's Labor and Employment Practice Group



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Our Client Alerts are intended to provide occasional general comments on new developments in Federal and State law and regulations which we believe might be of interest to our clients. The Client Alerts should not be considered opinions of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., and are not intended to provide legal advice as a substitute for seeking professional counsel. Readers should not under any circumstance act upon the information in this publication without seeking specific professional counsel. Ahlers & Cooney will be pleased to provide additional details regarding any article upon request. Additional copies of this Client Alert may be obtained by contacting any attorney in the Firm or by visiting the Firm's website at www.ahlerslaw.com.


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Overberg, Nathan


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