Are you ready for the new ADA and the new FMLA regulations? Both take effect in January 2009. The Americans with Disabilities Act has been amended to cover more employees. Among other things, the amended ADA:  

  • substantially expands the list of “major life activities”;
  • makes it easier to show that an employee is “substantially limited” in one or more of those activities; and
  • makes it easier to prove that a non-disabled employee was “regarded” as disabled.  

The amendments to the ADA take effect January 1, 2009. The FMLA has also been amended: On November 17, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new regulations that explain new forms of military FMLA leave, including which service members qualify and what circumstances warrant leave. The new regulations also rewrite most of the old regulations and change many of the rules regarding all forms of FMLA leave. Among other things, the new regulations:  

  •  require employers to provide four separate written notices to employees regarding their FMLA rights;
  •  impose more obligations on employees to give notice of the need for leave and answer the employer’s questions;
  •  give employers more tools to deal with employees who abuse intermittent leave; and
  • allow employers to consider FMLA absences in determining bonuses and other incentive pay.  

The new FMLA regulations take effect January 16, 2009.