EEOC’s Disabilities Guidance Updates Coincides with the APA’s Manual of Mental Disorders Update and the AMA’s Recognition of Obesity as a Disability – What Does This All Mean? in Employee Relations Law JournalDecember 1, 2013
Frank Morris, a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employee Benefits practices, in the Washington, DC, office, and Susan Gross Sholinsky, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the New York office, co-wrote an article titled "EEOC's Disabilities Guidance Updates Coincides with the APA's Manual of Mental Disorders Update and the AMA's Recognition of Obesity as a Disability - What Does This All Mean?"
Following is an excerpt:
On May 15, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") updated its prior guidance regarding cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, so as to clarify employers' obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). According to the EEOC, this updated guidance ("Guidance") is meant to incorporate changes made to the definition of "disability" by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which, in part, broadened the definition of "disability" and clarified that individuals with these impairments are, indeed, "disabled." In a press release regarding the Guidance, the EEOC stated that an update was required because of the frequent questions posed by employers about how the ADA applies to individuals with these disabilities. Interestingly, the EEOC also removed a statement from the Guidance that previously denied that simple obesity (without any accompanying or underlying medical condition(s)) could be considered a disability.