On January 29, 2008, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on “The ADA Restoration Act of 2007” (H.R. 3195/S.1881), which would redefine a disability as a physical mental impairment. It would also prohibit courts from considering “mitigating measures” and require that employers prove an individual is not qualified for a job. Proponents of the bill say it is needed to address court decisions that have excluded some disabled persons from coverage. But committee Republicans expressed concern that the proposed bill could have “unintended consequences” that dilute the ADA’s protections for those who need it most. Testifying in support of the bill was: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), chief sponsor of H.R. 3195, Andrew Imparato, President and CEO of the American Association of People With Disabilities, Carey McClure, plaintiff in an ADA lawsuit against General Motors; Robert L. Burgdorf, Professor of Law at the University of the District of Columbia; and David K. Fram, Esq., Director, ADA & EEO Services with the National Employment Law Institute.
by Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs