The Justice Department announced that the new ADA Standards for Accessible Design (“Standards”) went into effect last Thursday, March 15. The Standards were adopted as part of the 2010 revisions to the ADA regulations. The new requirements will provide accessibility for more than 54 million persons with disabilities at facilities subject to Title II of the ADA (state and local government buildings) and Title III of the ADA (public accommodations and commercial facilities).
We previously wrote about the EEOC’s increasingly aggressive position against inflexible leave of absence policies that provide for automatic termination of employment when an employee does not or cannot return to work at the end of a specified maximum leave period, such as when the employee has exhausted available FMLA leave. We have also written about the public hearing held by the EEOC in June 2011, which discussed the use of extended leaves of absence as reasonable accommodation for a disability covered under the expansive Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. A new development suggests that employers may also need to consider the use of extended leaves of absence as accommodation for employees’ religious beliefs.
On August 26, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with Kinro Manufacturing Inc. with regard to allegations that it “engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against work-authorized non-citizens in the employment eligibility verification process” by requiring certain new hires to provide proof of employment eligibility beyond that required by law.