Irvine, CA–The House of Representatives wants to greatly expand the number of Americans who are entitled to sue their employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act after being disciplined, demoted, or discharged. The proposed ADA Restoration Act would rewrite the definition of “disabled” to include employees who wear eyeglasses, have acne scars, or drink too much coffee.

“Congress is headed the wrong way down this road,” said Thomas Bowden, an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute. “The cure for the ADA is not to tinker with its definitions but to reject the idea that jobs are public property, to be molded and remolded by government according to public opinion. Jobs are private contracts. Employers and employees have an absolute right to negotiate terms agreeable to each other, by their own standards of profit and satisfaction. The resulting contract, not arbitrary Congressional dictates, should govern their legal relationship. The ADA is immoral because it denies the individual rights of everyone involved.”

Enacted in 1990 the ADA currently regards as disabled only people whose physical or mental impairments impose a “substantial limitation” on a “major life activity.” The proposed ADA Restoration Act would erase that part of the definition. The revised law would cover everyone who has any physical or mental impairment, however minor, regardless of whether the problem is completely resolved by medication or physical devices, or is in remission or latent.

“Since almost every individual has some physical or mental impairment, the proposed expansion of ADA coverage would transform virtually every adverse employment action into a potential lawsuit,” Bowden said. “It is bad enough that the threat of expensive litigation hangs in the air every time a wheelchair-bound paraplegic or recovering schizophrenic applies for work. The proposed amendment would extend ADA-based fear, uncertainty, and resentment throughout the workplace, to the detriment of all concerned.”

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