New regulations regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act could make it easier for people with certain disabilities to file a discrimination lawsuit against their employer. The new regulations were released at the end of March and are interpretations of amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act that were put in place in 2008.
According to a blog post by Debra Cassens Weiss on the American Bar Association Journal's law blog, the new regulations include a list of conditions that will "virtually always" be considered a disability. These conditions include diabetes, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, HIV, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, muscular dystrophy and bipolar disorder.
Before, employees or former employees had to prove that an employer was biased against a particular condition that should be considered a disability. Now, a plaintiff only has to prove that an employer discriminated against them because of disability. If they have one of the covered conditions, they don't have to prove that they are covered by the ADA.
According to the ABA Journal, these new regulations could also lead to more class-action disability discrimination lawsuits. Now that there is a list of conditions and illnesses that meet the definition of disability, everyone who has a certain disease or condition can now file a complaint together.
Before, these claims were considered to be more of an individual experience. Now, if a group of workers has suffered discrimination in employment because they have HIV or major depression, they could have a better chance getting class-action status for their lawsuit.
New ADA Regs Could Lead to More Disability Class Actions (ABA Journal)