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Disputing Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Empirical Answers, and Some Questions

16 Pages Posted: 15 May 2001  

Scott Burris

Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Kathryn Moss

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Michael Darren Ullman

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Matthew Johnsen

University of Massachusetts Worcester - University of Massachusetts Medical School

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, employment discrimination, disputing theory

JEL Classification: J7, J71, J79, K42

Suggested Citation

Burris, Scott and Moss, Kathryn and Ullman, Michael Darren and Johnsen, Matthew, Disputing Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Empirical Answers, and Some Questions. Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=263297

Scott C. Burris

Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phlr.org

Kathryn Moss

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research ( email )

725 Airport Road, CB# 7590
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7590
United States
919-966-0601 (Phone)
919-966-3811 (Fax)

Michael Darren Ullman (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Matthew Johnsen

University of Massachusetts Worcester - University of Massachusetts Medical School

55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
United States

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