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Take-away: Temporary but sufficiently severe impairments, whether caused by injury or permanent conditions, should be considered disabilities for purposes of the ADA and for triggering the employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process.
On January 23, 2014, in Summers v. Altarum Institute, Corporation, (Case No. 13-1645, 4th Cir., January 23, 2014 ), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held, in a case of first impression, that a temporary impairment, if sufficiently severe, can qualify as a disability under the ADA and the ADAAA, triggering a reasonable accommodation obligation for the employer.
Just in time for the Labor Day holiday, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on August 27, 2013 issued two sets of final regulations designed to enhance greatly employment opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities. These regulations (available here and here) were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2013 and will go into effect on March 23, 2014.