Richard B. Cohen was quoted in the Society for Human Resource Management article, "ADA Claims on Rise." Full text can be found in the June 26, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), many predicted a drastic increase in the number of ADA claims. That prediction has proven true.

"Before passage of the ADAAA, people with particular impairments such as limb amputation, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy and cancer were not necessarily or by definition covered by the law," said Richard Cohen.

According to Cohen, the intent of the law "was to create a broader and more liberal standard as to the definition and nature of an impairment" covered. "Congress explicitly intended that 'the question of whether an individual's impairment is a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis.'"

"So just about any physical or mental disorder or condition may, in fact, be covered," he said. "Every day I see new cases filed and decided which hold that just about any impairment may be a covered disability."

With the rise in ADA claims comes an increased need to provide training to the entire workforce, according to Cohen.

"One of the most important things is that, from the top down, an employer must communicate effectively that everyone will be treated fairly," he said. "That is, that you are truly an equal opportunity employer."

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