ADA Congressional Briefing on April 4, 2017
Since its passage in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped millions of individuals with disabilities, including epilepsy, and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support.
Currently, the House is considering legislation (H.R. 620) that would erode ADA protections by shifting the burden of compliance from businesses to people with disabilities. The Epilepsy Foundation is deeply concerned with the impact this bill would have on people with disabilities, and we are closely monitoring its progress in the House. You can write to your representatives about H.B. 620 using our customized form, which is available here.
On April 4, 2017, Representative Hank Johnson (GA) sponsored a briefing on Capitol Hill about the Americans with Disabilities Act. The event featured panelists notable for their work in disability rights, including:
- Jennifer Mathis, Deputy Legal Director and Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy, Judge David L. Bazelon Mental Health Law Center.
- Lex Frieden, Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston And former Executive Director of National Council on Disability (NCD)
- John Wodatch, retired Department of Justice, Chief of the Disability Rights Section
- ADA Pioneer Andy Levy, trial and appellate lawyer at Brown Goldstein Levy LLP (Baltimore)
Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act
On March 8, 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter to the House Committee on Education and Workforce, expressing our strong opposition to H.R. 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, a bill that would exempt employer-based wellness programs from genetic nondiscrimination provisions in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination ACT (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Under current law, employers cannot impose penalties on employees who choose not to disclose their genetic information. However, H.R. 1313 would allow employers to condition discounts or payment on insurance premiums on the disclosure of such information as part of participation in employee wellness programs. This could result in a loss of up to several thousand dollars per year for an employee. This structure could essentially coerce employees into revealing their private genetic information, and make it easier for employees to discriminate based on employee genetic factors. Read our advocacy efforts on this bill below.
EF-CCD Letter of Opposition - H.R. 1313 (March 8, 2017)