Thursday, April 7, 2011

Legislation in the News Contest -- Week Nine

Once again we have three winners this week. Karlin Sangdahl submitted this post from the Blog of the Legal Times, which reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new regulations to implement a 2008 statute that amended the Americans with Disabilities Act. The post explains that the new law

overturned several Supreme Court decisions narrowing the definition of “disability” in the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, individuals with cancer, diabetes or epilepsy were denied coverage under the law.

* * * * *

The 2008 statute and the new regulations keep the definition of “disability” in the original ADA: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment, or being regarded as having a disability. But the 2008 law made significant changes in how those terms are interpreted, according to the EEOC, and the regulations implement those changes.

For example, the regulations clarify that the term “major life activities” includes “major bodily functions,” such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and brain, neurological and endocrine functions. They also make clear that, as under the original ADA, not every impairment will constitute a disability. The regulations include examples of impairments that should easily be concluded to be disabilities, such as HIV infection, diabetes, epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

In an article submitted by Emily Acosta, the SMU Daily Mustang reports that the Texas legislature is likely to pass a law permitting those 21 years of age or older to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Private colleges would be able to opt out, but public institutions would not.

Finally, Sam Mustain submitted this story from BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily, which reports that the Supreme Court has issued a lightning-fast decision in the Walmart class action case. This story is appropriately datelined April 1.

Congratulations to this week's winners. Submissions for the next contest are due by Friday, April 8, at 9 a.m.

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