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Press Release 08-28-2012

EEOC Commissioners to Explain Disability Discrimination Law in Coast-To-Coast Tour

WASHINGTON - Two Commissioners of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will go on a cross-country tour in September to explain and discuss the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). The series of training seminars is aimed at employment law practitioners, human resource and equal employment opportunity/diversity specialists, and managers dealing with issues of reasonable accommodation.

Commissioners Chai Feldblum (D) and Victoria A. Lipnic (R) will headline EEOC-sponsored training seminars in the Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and Miami areas. The Commissioners and other speakers from various organizations will focus on the crucial subject of reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities under the ADAAA.

"These training sessions are a logical outgrowth of the EEOC's ongoing policy of making education and discrimination prevention a central part of its mission," said Mary McIver, director of the EEOC's Training Institute, which is sponsoring the seminars. "The more American employers understand how to comply with the ADAAA, the less confusion and misunderstanding there will be over workplace accommodations - and that's a win-win for everyone."

The Commissioners will discuss topics such as essential job functions and job descriptions; the basics of reasonable accommodation; and leave, modified schedules and telecommuting as reasonable accommodations. Their presentation will take up the morning portion of each full-day session. Each site will have its own lunch speaker or presentation. The afternoon program will include more in-depth sessions with local presenters on the interplay of the ADA, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Worker's Compensation; Essential Functions, Qualification Standards and Production Standards; and ADAAA Accommodation Mysteries Solved and Disability Etiquette.

The ADAAA, signed into law in 2008, enhanced and refined the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADAAA emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. The ADAAA made important changes to the definition of the term "disability" by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of the EEOC's ADA regulations. 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 dates and locations of the events are:

People interested in learning more about the seminars, or registering for one of them, may do so at the web page of the EEOC Training Institute, the agency's office that organizes paid training and education programs to combat and prevent disability discrimination:

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