Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Statutory Research Tip

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a news release earlier this month about three new cases it had filed under the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Two of the three new cases allege that employers failed to provide "reasonable accommodation" for employees: in one case, a stool for a cashier with severe arthritic symptoms in her knees; and in the other, part time work during cancer treatments. In the third case, the EEOC alleges that the employer selected more two qualified, but disabled, employees for a reduction-in-force over other less qualified workers whom it retained. The release also provides a link to a more detailed discussion of each case that also includes its docket number.

The news release then continues with this little snippet of background for the 2008 amending act:

Originally enacted in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. During the ensuing years, federal courts took a narrow view of what conditions counted as "disabilities" under the law. Some courts had found that individuals with serious conditions - such as diabetes and cancer - were not covered by the ADA's protections against discrimination. In 2008, Congress responded to these interpretations by adopting the ADA Amendments Act, which made clear that the definition of "disability" is both broad and straightforward.

But what about the statutory research tip promised by the title to this blog? On the right side of this release is a gold mine of links for someone interested in the ADA, the 2008 amendments, and the enforcement vision of the EEOC. But, what if you were interested in this new law and how it fits in with the original ADA, and there was no such timely news release? Just go to the EEOC homepage and note among the links across the top of the page "About EEOC." In its drop-down menu you will find a link to the "laws and regulations" enforced by the agency. On that next page, just select "Disability."

So, a word to the wise. When you are doing statutory research, think about tapping the resources of the department or agency entrusted with its enforcement. That government entity is the expert and doubtless will provide you with all sorts of information for your research at the mere click of your mouse!

No comments: