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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
8-28-12

EEOC Commissioners Launch Disability Discrimination Series in Seattle

SEATTLE - Two Commissioners of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) begin a cross-country tour in September to explain and discuss the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) with a session in Seattle on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport. The training seminar is aimed at employment law practitioners, human resource and equal employment opportunity/diversity specialists, and managers dealing with issues of reasonable accommodation.

Commissioners Chai Feldblum (D) and Victoria A. Lipnic (R) will headline EEOC-sponsored training seminar in Seattle, as well as Los Angeles, Boston and Miami. The Commissioners and other speakers from various organizations will focus on the crucial subject of reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities under the ADAAA.

"This is a unique opportunity for employers in our local community to grasp in fine detail how the ADA Amendments Act impacts them," said EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado. "Here are the very experts who developed our agency's guidelines available to answer questions in person, complemented by local presenters and resources on disability topics."

In the morning, the Commissioners will cover the basics of reasonable accommodation, including essential functions and job descriptions - the building blocks of reasonable accommodation - and special issues related to leavemodified schedules and telecommuting as reasonable accommodations. J. Aaron McCullough, a local attorney and ADA consultant, will deliver the luncheon keynote, "ADA Blunders that Lead to Litigation." The in-depth afternoon panels include:

  • "Interplay of the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Worker's Compensation," by Michael C. Subit of Frank, Freed Subit & Thomas LLP and Michael Reilly of Lane Powell PC.
  • "Essential Functions, Qualification Standards, and Production Standards," by Karen Davis, Attorney, Vigilant Counsel for Employers, and John P. Evans, Employer Relations Manager, Washington State DSHS, Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • "ADAAA Accommodation Mysteries Solved and Disabilities Etiquette," by Thomas Allman, Ed. J.D., Accessibility Coordinator, Washington State Secretary of State for Elections, and Laura Lindstrand, Policy Analyst, Washington State Human Rights Commission.

The ADAAA, signed into law in 2008, amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADAAA made important changes to the definition of the term "disability" and rejected the holdings of several Supreme Court decisions and portions of the EEOC's ADA regulations that adopted a narrow interpretation of "disability." The ADAAA emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed broadly in favor of coverage. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the act's meaning.

The remaining dates and locations of the ADAAA events are:

  • Sept. 13 in Los Angeles (Four Points Sheraton Los Angeles Airport)
  • Sept. 18 in Boston (Colonnade Hotel)
  • Sept. 20 in Miami (Hilton Miami Downtown)

To register or to get more information regarding the seminar, please visit the EEOC Training Institute website at:
http://www.eeotraining.eeoc.gov/viewpage.aspx?ID=d83b1763-4f98-464e-afc3-35c8c0c52956.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.