On August 25, 2016, the EEOC issued its Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. In addition to outlining expanded definitions of “opposition” and “participation” activity with respect to retaliation claims, the EEOC also addressed section 503(b) of the ADA. Section 503(b) makes it unlawful to “coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere” with an individual who attempts to exercise ADA rights or one who assists or encourages others to do so.
What Makes ADA Interference Different
In its guidance, the EEOC notes the interference provisions of the ADA are broader than the statute’s anti-retaliation provisions. Specifically, actions that may not be materially adverse for a retaliation claim may suffice for an interference action. Another distinguishing feature of an ADA interference claim, according to the agency, is that an individual pursuing relief need not be a qualified person with a disability.
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