Labor & Employment

Fired for Being Too Fat, Worker Gets $55K Settlement With EEOC's Help


A Virginia-based military vehicle manufacturer isn’t admitting any wrongdoing, but has agreed to pay a $55,000 settlement to a morbidly obese materials handler fired from his $21-an-hour job at a Sealy, Texas, plant for being too fat.

Ronald Kratz II, who weighed as much as 680 pounds when he worked for BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems, was able to perform the essential functions of his job, contended the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the federal suit it filed on his behalf under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC also took issue with the company’s claimed failure to determine whether Kratz needed any accommodation before firing him, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Under the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge in Houston, the company will also train managers about ADA compliance and give Kratz six months of outplacement assistance.

Kratz has slimmed down to 350 pounds, but hasn’t been able to find another job since he was fired in October 2009.

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