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Assembly Bill 2222 (Kuehl-2000)

Chapter 1049, Statutes of 2000 Chapter 1049, Statutes of 2000 Chapter 1049, Statutes of 2000

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The Third Reading analysis of Assembly Bill 2222 as last amended that was prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses provided the following description of this measure:

This bill enacts the Prudence Kay Poppink Act. The bill clarifies the definitions of “mental disability”, “physical disability” and “medical condition” for the purposes of California’s civil rights laws, limits an employer’s ability to require medical or psychological examinations, or make certain medical or disability-related inquiries; and requires an employer to engage in a good faith, interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee or applicant.
(See Exhibit #13b, page 1)

Background on the legislation is addressed in the Senate Committee on Judiciary analysis of Assembly Bill 2222 as amended on July 6, 2000 as follows:

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the determination of whether a person has a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act must take into consideration whether the person may not be substantially limited in a major life activity because they are using a mitigating measure, such as medication, a prosthesis, or a hearing aid. (See Sutton v. United Airlines (1999) 119 S.Ct. 2139; Murphy v. United Postal Services (1999) 119 S.Ct. 2133; Albertson's Inc. v. Kirkingburg (1999) 119 S.Ct. 2162.) This bill is intended to assert the independence of FEHA as more protective of persons with disabilities than under the federal ADA.
(See Exhibit #10, page 2)

This analysis further provided discussion regarding the need for the measure, noting in part:

The Impact Fund also writes in support of the bill stating that, it “is necessary to confirm that under California law, our independent public policy commitment to equal rights for persons with disabilities looks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not as a limitation on rights and remedies, but as a minimum floor below which California law will not go. Although this has long been the manifest legislative intent, some courts have persisted in concluding that California law merely apes the ADA. Thus a clarification of the law is appropriate.”

The Fair Employment and Housing Commission supports this measure saying, “AB 2222 is significant legislation because, among other things, the bill would clarify that a physical disability under California law is to be determined without consideration of mitigating measures such as medications, assistive devices, corrective lenses, etc. The bill would send a clear message that California is not in accord with the recent trilogy of United States Supreme Court decisions in Sutton v. United Airlines (1999) 119 S.Ct. 2139, Murphy v. UPS (1999) 119 S.Ct. 2133, and Albertsons v. Kirkingburg (1999) S.Ct. 2162 that found that, in determining whether a person has a disability under the ADA, consideration must be given to such mitigating measures.”

AB 2222 would provide that the California Legislature expressly disavows the holdings in these three decisions, which interpret the ADA. The result will be that under California’s civil rights statutes (FEHA and UNRUH in particular) the determination of whether a person suffers a disabling condition will be based upon the unmitigated condition of the individual.
(See Exhibit #10, page 6)

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