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Maryland lawyers explain ADA changes

Baltimore, MD (January 6, 2009) -- The ADA Amendments Act of 2008, in effect since last Friday, reversed years of court decisions favoring employers in disputes over disability discrimination.

Now it's clear that the realm of the disabled as defined by the law is going to expand. Workplace policies are going to have to undergo significant revisions if employers are to avoid what is expected to be a tidal wave of new litigation.

"The realm of 'the disabled' has significantly enlarged," says employment law attorney and former Coca-Cola Enterprises general counsel John Phillips.

"While it may be incorrect to say the new Act makes everyone disabled, we'll be much closer to that point than we've ever been. Reasonable accommodation requests will become more frequent and more complicated. Disability discrimination charges and litigation will increase dramatically. Given the new Act's language, it'll be difficult for courts to dismiss these cases without letting a jury decide them."

Maryland employers and HR executives who recognize the need to understand these revisions and adjust their workplace policies accordingly are making plans to attend Maryland Employers' ADA Master Class: Answers to NEW Compliance, Accommodations, and FMLA/Workers' Comp Challenges. This one-day workshop will be held Wednesday, January 21 at the Marriott Hunt Valley.

In addition to explaining the ADA Amendments Act, the workshop will help Human Resources make difficult decisions on coverage, determine what accommodation entails, execute the "interactive process" and understand:

* Why the ADA and the new amendments present innumerable opportunities for employee claims
* How to make difficult coverage calls
* Satisfying the obligation to reasonably accommodate an employee
* Practical problems at the boundaries of the law
* Navigating the confluence of ADA, FMLA, and workers' comp

Attorneys with the Baltimore law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, Kevin C. McCormick, James P. Gillece, Jr., Steven E. Bers, Erin Lewis Roberts and David M. Stevens will lead the workshop. Employers and HR executives who want more information or wish to register may do so by visiting http://www.hrhero.com/md-ada or calling 800-274-6774.

Contact: Pete McPherson
Pmcpherson@mleesmith.com or 800-274-6774


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