Disputing Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Empirical Answers, and Some Questions
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
Michael Darren Ullman
affiliation not provided to SSRN
University of Massachusetts Worcester - University of Massachusetts Medical School
Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 2000
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been the subject of controversy ever since it took effect. Critics argue that it has inspired a barrage of claims brought by people who do not have serious disabilities, that most cases of employment discrimination brought under the ADA involve people who already have jobs, and that this avalanche of frivolous claims may produce a backlash by businesses, ultimately hurting the very people the law was meant to help. In contrast, disability advocates have expressed strong concerns that the federal courts have interpreted the ADA far more narrowly than Congress intended, holding that plaintiffs with significant impairments do not meet the statute's definition of a qualified person with a disability and incorrectly dismissing legitimate claims brought by people the law was designed to protect. This paper contributes to an assessment of the ADA based on data, rather than prior principles. The paper briefly reviews research and theory on disputing; applies disputing theory to data from our ongoing research on ADA employment discrimination administrative claims; reviews American Bar Association data on ADA federal court final decisions; and concludes with some interpretations of the ADA and our own data - and more questions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, employment discrimination, disputing theory
JEL Classification: J7, J71, J79, K42Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 15, 2001
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