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PRESS RELEASE
9-6-12

National Disability Discrimination Series Featuring EEOC Commissioners Hits Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - Two Commissioners of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will visit Los Angeles, Calif. on Thursday, September 13, 2012, as part of a cross-country tour to explain and discuss the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). The training seminar, to be held at the Four Points by Sheraton LAX, is aimed at business owners and executives, employment law practitioners, human resources or EEO specialists and managers dealing with issues of reasonable accommodation.

EEOC Commissioners Chai Feldblum, a Democrat, and Victoria A. Lipnic, a Republican, will headline the agency-sponsored training seminar in Los Angeles, as well as Seattle, Boston and Miami. The Washington D.C.-based Commissioners, and other speakers from various organizations, will focus on the crucial subject of reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities under the ADAAA.

"The ADAAA cross-country tour is an unprecedented undertaking by the EEOC, featuring first-hand instruction by two of the chief decision makers for our federal agency," said Olophius Perry, district director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. "To hear directly from the Commissioners, along with several local experts, is an invaluable resource for those grappling with the law on disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation."

In the morning, the Commissioners will cover the basics of reasonable accommodation - including essential functions and job descriptions - as well as special issues related to leave, modified schedules and telecommuting as reasonable accommodations. Dr. Richard Pimentel, famed disability rights advocate and the subject of the movie "The Music Within," will deliver the keynote luncheon address. Designed to continue the dialogue and tackle real-world scenarios, the afternoon panel sessions include:

  • "The Interactive Process and the Interplay of the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Worker's Compensation" by EEOC Trial Attorney Derek Li; Employment Law Global Chair Nancy Abell of the Paul Hastings law firm; Sirena Bazile, Regional Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division; and Raine Wilson, Lead Consultant of the California Division of Workers' Compensation.
  • "Essential Functions, Qualification Standards, and Production Standards" by EEOC Trial Attorney Elizabeth Esparza-Cervantes; Marianne Brazer, Director of Administration of the Disability Rights Legal Center; Patricia Kinaga, a partner at the Kinaga Law Firm; and Kimberly Wright, Human Resources Director of the Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center.
  • "ADAAA Accommodation Mysteries Solved and Disability Etiquette" by EEOC Enforcement Manager Patricia Kane; Richard Dickinson, Advocate Specialist for the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness; Laura Karch, Executive Director of the Awakenings Health Institute; Blake Levine, founder of Bipolar Los Angeles; and William Moore, Deputy Director of the Vocational Rehabilitation Employment Division of the California Department of Rehabilitation.

The ADAAA, signed into law in 2008, amended the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADAAA made important changes to the definition of the term "disability" and rejected the holdings of several Supreme Court decisions and portions of the EEOC's ADA regulations that adopted a narrow interpretation of "disability." The ADAAA emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed broadly in favor of coverage. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the act's meaning.

The remaining dates and locations of the ADAAA events are:

  • Sept. 11 in Seattle (Doubletree Seattle Airport)
  • Sept. 13 in Los Angeles (Four Points Sheraton Los Angeles Airport)
  • Sept. 18 in Boston (Colonnade Hotel)
  • Sept. 20 in Miami (Hilton Miami Downtown)

To register or to get more information regarding the seminar, please visit the EEOC Training Institute website at: https://secure.kinsail.com/results.asp?p=eeoc&pt=store&GroupID=23109.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.