Wednesday, August 08, 2001
When the first President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, I said it would eventually move beyond helping people in wheelchairs and those afflicted with disabilities with which we're all familiar. Not so, said some prominent advocates for the disabled. Yes, so!
A new California law interprets the ADA to cover people who wear glasses, use a hearing aid or take medication for high blood pressure. Depression and chronic back pain may also be covered, depending on how good a job the trial lawyers do in court. And a Los Angeles court has ruled that the new law is retroactive to Jan. 1, so people who didn't know they were discriminated against can sue employers who didn't know they were discriminating.
It will now be open season on employers in California. That will drive up costs and make the workplace even more stressful for a lot of people. Sometimes I am accused of being an alarmist where government is involved. Consider what is happening with the ADA. If this isn't the time to sound the alarm about reigning in government, when is the time?