WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a final rule rescinding parts of its Interpretive Guidance on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) involving mitigating measures used by an individual to eliminate or reduce the effects of an impairment. A text of the final rule is scheduled for publication in today's Federal Register.
"In keeping with our commitment to provide timely guidance to our stakeholders, this revised guidance clarifies the legal standard for determining when a person who uses mitigating measures meets the ADA's definition of 'disability,' " said EEOC Chairwoman Ida L. Castro. "The Commission is rescinding portions of its Interpretive Guidance on the ADA to be consistent with Supreme Court rulings last term."
In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc., and Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc., that the determination of whether an individual has a current disability under the ADA must be made by considering any mitigating measures that a person uses to eliminate or reduce the effects of an impairment. Mitigating measures may include medication and assistive devices such as hearing aids, walkers, or canes.
EEOC's final rule rescinds parts of its Interpretive Guidance sections 1630.2(h) and (j), which had stated that mitigating measures should not be considered in determining whether an individual has a disability. The rule was published without a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and solicitation for public comment because it is not a significant regulatory action. The rest of the guidance remains in full effect. The next publication of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) will incorporate the revision to the Interpretive Guidance.
Issuance of the final rule follows the July 1999 release of the EEOC's Instructions for Field Offices: Analyzing ADA Charges After Supreme Court Decisions Addressing 'Disability' and 'Qualified.' The instructions modify previous field instructions and emphasize the individualized analysis that must be used in determining whether a charging party has a 'disability' as defined by the ADA and when a person is 'qualified.'The text of the final rule, ADA field instructions, and other information about the EEOC is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov. In addition to enforcing the employment provisions of the ADA, the EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
This page was last modified on June 8, 2000.
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