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Since President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAA) on September 25, 2008, the definition of “disability” greatly expanded beyond that previously allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The ADAA made important changes to the definition of the term “disability” by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s ADA regulations. Employment Discrimination Lawyers universally agree that principal effect of the ADAA is to make it easier for employees to gain protection under the ADA

Here is a perfect broadened scope ADA discrimination example: Two applicants applied for admission at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School. It is undisputed that they were qualified for admission, but they were rejected because they have Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). According to the Center for Disease Control, “Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The incubation period from the time of exposure to onset of symptoms is 6 weeks to 6 months. HBV is found in highest concentrations in blood and in lower concentrations in other body fluids (e.g., semen, vaginal secretions, and wound exudates).”

According to a press release from the United States Justice Department: “The Justice Department determined that the schools had no lawful basis for excluding the applicants, especially because students at the schools are not even required to perform invasive surgical procedures, and that the exclusion of the applicants contradicts the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance on this issue.”

The case settled. Under the terms of the settlement, the school must grant enrollment to the applicants and give each applicants a total of $75,000 in combined compensation and tuition credits – among other non-monetary considerations.

If Hep B is a protected class under the current version of the ADA, then employer will have an incredibly tough time challenging that a condition is a disability.

If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 273-3742. The Spitz Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.

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