In 2008, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (ADAAA) after two U.S. Supreme Court decisions had narrowed the numbers of individuals who could qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
With the passage of the ADAAA, Congress determined that “the question of whether an individual’s impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.” Although Congress did not want “extensive analysis” after the ADAAA, recent court opinions demonstrate that courts continue both to conduct analysis on this issue, and, more importantly, dismiss discrimination claims when a plaintiff cannot demonstrate that he or she is actually disabled. Moving forward, employers should continue to challenge alleged disabilities in appropriate cases, and plaintiffs must be prepared to establish the bona fides of their disability.
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