Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


Perhaps the most surprising development during the 1994 survey period is what did not happen, as opposed to what did happen. The anticipated stampede of decisions under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA"), has not yet happened, at least at the circuit court of appeals level. Not a single ADA case was handed down by the Eleventh Circuit during the survey period. Since, at last count, there were over 30,000 ADA charges pending at the administrative charge level, this most certainly will change in the very near future. The year 1994 will also be remembered as the year that the United States Supreme Court finally resolved the issue of whether the Civil Rights Act of 1991 is to be retroactively applied. By determining that the statute is not retroactive, the Court restored certainty to an issue which had spawned literally multitudes of conflicting decisions throughout the United States. In another extremely important opinion, the High Court also addressed the "after-acquired evidence" defense, placed considerable limitations on the defense, and thereby reversed what had become a substantial body of authority endorsing the doctrine. Not to be completely outdone, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit also handed down several significant decisions, especially in the area of consent decrees and affirmative action plans," as well as the parties respective burdens of proof under the Equal Pay Act.