The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), having come under attack by nonprofits such as The Epilepsy Foundation for its opposition to the ADA Restoration Act, has issued a statement explaining its position. In its statement, SHRM says that it supports the purpose of the ADA but is concerned that the proposed bills would expand the definition of “disability” so much that it would cover people with temporary, minor physical or mental impairments like headaches, skin irritations and sprained ankles.
Good point. Having to “reasonably accommodate” people with temporary mental or physical impairments does not seem to be what the ADA was ever intended to do.
SHRM is also worried about the provision that would shift the burden to employers to prove that an individual with a disability was not qualified for a position. Currently, the employee must prove that he or she is an “otherwise qualified individual with a disability.” SHRM says the proposed provision would hinder rather than help efforts to employ more individuals with disabilities (the SHRM statement does not explain why, however). Clearly, it is a benefit to employers not to bear the burden of proof on any legal issue.