HR Professionals July 2013


July Issue Highlights

HR Professionals Magazine July 2013 1In the Spotlight: Lisa K. Horn

Hot Topics

Happy Birthday to the Americans with Disabilities Act!

 (July 25, 2013) Did you know that twenty-three years ago this week, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act? On July 26, 1990, President Bush declared it “the most important civil rights legislation in the last century.” As all HR professionals know, this legislation guaranteed equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The new legislation defined disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity”—a definition that has withstood many challenges since 1990.


Then in 2008 President George W. Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act, better know as the ADAAA, which gave workers with disabilities even broader protections by adding to the list of “major life activities”: “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.” One of the most important facts about this legislation was that it overturned a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that a person was not disabled if an impairment could be corrected by mitigating measures, stating that impairment must be determined without considering such measures.


In 1990 when the law was first signed, it affected 43 million Americans. However, today it applies to 56.7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means almost one in five people—or 19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population! These are staggering statistics! Disabilities impact one’s sight, hearing, speech, mobility, learning and/or mental health. These disabilities also have names such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and depression.


HR Professionals Magazine is an exciting monthly trade publication designed to educate and inform HR professionals in every discipline of the Human Resources function. We cover current hot topics on employment law, staffing and recruiting, compensation and benefits, employee relations, diversity, ethics, business leadership, relocation, employee training and development, payroll, and HR technology. Employment law will not only focus on federal legislation, but also on state and local regulations for Tennessee,Arkansas, and Mississippi.

 Articles are detailed and comprehensive written by local HR specialists, educators, and attorneys who are highly regarded as experts in their respective fields.

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