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Debate over bill broadening ADA coverage

Today the House committee on Education and Labor is holding a hearing on the “ADA Restoration Act of 2007,” which would bring the biggest changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act since the law was passed in 1990.

Groups including the National Council on Disability have urged congress to pass the measure, introduced in July, which aims to establish clearer standards for what constitutes a disability and what accommodations employers must make for qualified applicants. (Lawyers USA subscribers can read more here. Also more here from HR.BLR.com).

But some business groups have opposed the measure, saying that the bill would essentially eliminate that requirement that a disability affect “a major life function,” expanding the definition so broadly as to include minor or temporary impairments. The Heritage Foundation, for example, said the law would expand the definition of disability to the point that it would cover “virtually every American.”

UPDATE: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also opposes the measure, and posted about today’s hearing here on its blog, ChamberPost.

Among those scheduled to testify at today’s hearing are: University of District of Columbia law professor Robert Burgdorf; David Fram from the National Employment Law Institute; Andrew Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities; and Carey McClure, an electrician who suffers from muscular dystrophy who said her job offer was revoked by General Motors because of her disability.

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