The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) has reinvigorated the ADA, and the proof is in recent U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statistics.
The expanded definition of “disability” has grown the ranks of those claiming they’ve been discriminated against because of their disabilities.
Total EEOC settlement amounts increased significantly among people with mental disabilities between the time Congress deliberated over the ADAAA in 2007 and 2012. The largest increases were:
*Anxiety disorders: $1.6 million in 2007 to $6.4 million in 2012.
*Manic depressive disorder: $1.1 million to $3 million.
*Post-traumatic stress disorder: $611,600 to $2.5 million.
*Other psychological disorders: $1 million to $1.6 million.
The number of ADA charges for people with mental disabilities rose as well:
*Anxiety disorders: 488 to 1,609.
*Manic depressive disorder: 635 to 836.
*Post-traumatic stress disorder: 221 to 699.
*Other psychological disorders: 241 to 411.
The EEOC won larger settlements among people with physical disabilities as well, including jumps of more than $1 million among:
*Brain-head injury trauma: $381,426 in 2007 to $1.5 million in 2012.
*Gastrointestinal impairments: $345,909 to $1.6 million.
*Heart cardiovascular impairments: $1.6 million to $4.5 million.
*Back impairments: $3.8 million to $10 million.
*Slipped disks: $3.3 million to $8 million.
*Other blood disorders: $426,466 to $1.7 million.
*Other disability: $9.1 million to $28.9 million.
*Other neurological impairment: $1.7 million to $3.4 million.
*Record of disability: $3.4 million to $8 million.
*Regarded as disabled: $10.4 million to $14.5 million.
*Relationship association: $579,296 to $2.2 million.
Allen Smith, J.D., is manager, workplace law content, for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter @SHRMlegaleditor.