Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Stein, Silvers, Areheart, and Francis on Accommodating Every Body

The all-star crew of Michael Stein, Anita Silvers, Brad Areheart, and Leslie Francis has this new piece forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review entitled Accommodating Every Body.  Check out the abstract:
This Article contends that workplace accommodations should be predicated on need or effectiveness instead of group identity status. It proposes “accommodating every body” by extending an Americans with Disabilities Act reasonable accommodation mandate to all work-capable members of the general population for whom accommodation is necessary to enable their ability to work. Doing so shifts the focus of accommodation disputes from the contentious identity-based contours of “disabled” plaintiffs to the core issue of alleged discrimination. This proposal likewise avoids current problems associated with excluding “unworthy” individuals from employment opportunity — people whose functional capacity does not comply with prevailing workforce design and organizational presumptions — and who therefore require accommodation. Adopting this proposal also responds to growing demands to extend the length of time people remain at work by enhancing employment opportunities for aging individuals still capable of contributing on the job. Provision of accommodations for age-related alteration of functionality, when the accommodations are effective, is reasonably prescribed because everyone hopes to retain maximum capabilities as they grow older, whether or not they also possess identity-based characteristics sufficient to constitute a “disability” under the ADA.
I make a similar argument at points in my book (check the link on the right), so I'm obviously sympathetic to the argument.  Check it out!

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