The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reportedly has approved the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed final regulations for the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). The EEOC, if this is the case, is free to publish the final regulations in the Federal Register and begin enforcing their provisions after a stated period of time.

The ADAAA was written, passed and signed into law to overturn several court decisions that had narrowed the definition of disability intended by the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADAAA now shifts employer emphasis from proving or disproving an employee's disability to creating and providing a reasonable accommodation. It also greatly expands the list of "major life activities" (which must be limited in some way to qualify as a disability) to include "major bodily functions."

The final regulations are expected to weigh in on whether "temporary" disabilities of less than six months require accommodation; on whether some conditions (such as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, HIV and many others) will automatically and consistently qualify as disabilities; on whether the new EEOC list of covered conditions nullifies the ADA's case-by-case determination of disability; and on whether employers must accommodate those with a "record" of disability even if there is no undue hardship involved.

Of necessity, the final regulations will cover many more topics than just the ones listed above, but the above represent areas considered somewhat contentious by employers.

Personnel Concepts has a compiled a useful explanation of the provisions of the ADAAA in its ADA Amendments Act Compliance Kit. Get yours today.