Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Equal Employment Opportunity Comission Not To Rush 11th Hour ADA ACT.

Action Alert: Tell EEOC Not to Rush 11th Hour ADA Amendments Act Regulations TODAY

* * * Immediate Action Necessary * * *

Tell EEOC Not to Rush Through 11th Hour ADA Amendments Act Regulations

AAPD staff have learned that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has scheduled a Commission meeting for this Thursday, December 11 at 2 p.m. to discuss regulations interpreting the new ADA Amendments Act that was signed into law by President Bush on September 25. We have learned that one of the potential items for discussion is a new "Interim Final Rule" interpreting the new ADA Amendments Act that would take effect concurrent with the statute's effective date on January 1, 2009. If the Commission decides to issue an Interim Final Rule, that means that their regulations would take effect BEFORE anyone outside the commission has had an opportunity to review and comment on them. This is not acceptable.

Typically, administrative agencies issue a notice of proposed rulemaking and give stakeholders an opportunity to comment on proposed regulations before they take effect. We believe that it is essential that the disability community and broader civil rights coalition that worked hard to get the ADA Amendments Act signed into law have an opportunity to see and comment on the new regulations before they take effect, and we are concerned that the Commission would try to rush through a final rule with no public comment at the end of an administration.

Call today to let the EEOC Chairperson, Naomi Churchill Earp, and the Legal Counsel, Reed Russell, know that we want an opportunity to review the proposed regulations BEFORE they take effect. The ADA Amendments Act was the product of long negotiations and discussions with multiple stakeholders, and it is important that the regulations benefit from the same kind of broad-based input. The new law repudiates an overly narrow approach to the definition of disability that had been applied by the U.S. Supreme Court AND the EEOC, and we don't want to see the new regulations inadvertently create new problems for charging parties with disabilities and employers.

Congress did not instruct EEOC to issue regulations before the new law's effective date, and there is no reason for the regulatory process to move forward without the typical notice and opportunity to comment. Our message to EEOC is simple: Don't issue a rule before we have an opportunity to be heard.

Nothing about us without us.

To reach the Chair's office, call 202 663-4002.

To reach the Legal Counsel, call 202 663-4609.

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