Managing Employees’ “Disabilities” and Safeguarding Their Genetic Information: Complying with the EEOC’s New ADAAA and GINA Rules

The Yale Club of New York50 Vanderbilt Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Presented by Epstein Becker Green Attorneys
Frank C. Morris, Jr.
Evan J. Spelfogel

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC's) long-awaited regulations on the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) were recently released and become effective on May 24, 2011. The agency's similarly long-overdue regulations on Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) went into effect in January of this year.

In light of the EEOC's expansive interpretation of both laws — as well as its promise to vigorously enforce them — employers need to understand the broad scope of the agency's mandates and ensure that their policies and practices are compliant.

This morning briefing will explore the real-world implications of the new regulations and provide practical guidance on the following topics:


  • The new definition of "disability": The EEOC's nine rules of construction for determining who has a covered disability may prompt you to wonder: Who isn't disabled under the law? For example, the ADAAA, as interpreted by the EEOC, now:
    • Lowers the bar for meeting the definition of "major life activity";
    • Affords greater coverage for an impairment that is "episodic," "in remission," or lasting less than six months; and
    • Virtually eliminates the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures as a consideration
  • How the broadened definition of disability changes the playing field when an employee now claims to be disabled and requests a reasonable accommodation: Why your current policies and practices — from job descriptions to the interactive process — may not be up to the task
  • The implications of the new ADAAA for your FMLA and other leave policies, and why they, too, may need to be revisited


  • The EEOC's broad definitions of "genetic information" and "genetic tests," and why they matter
  • The limits on acquiring genetic information, including the pitfalls of "family history" information
  • The implications for wellness programs
  • What data may be included in — and should be removed from — employee personnel files?
  • Best practices for ensuring compliance with GINA, including the use of the statute's "safe harbor" language when requesting an employee's medical information

We hope you will join us for this topical and informative briefing.

Registration fee is $40.

To respond to this invitation, please click here.

If you have questions about this briefing, please contact Christine Eschenauer at (212) 351-4668 or [email protected].