Labor & Employment

Obesity Claims Likely to Rise


Disability claims based on obesity are likely to increase as American waistlines continue to grow.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and disability lawyers say obesity claims are an emerging area, according to Joan Biskupic of USA Today.

The agency considers only morbid obesity—defined as weight 100 pounds higher than the ideal—as an impairment protected under the American With Disabilities Act.

Such lawsuits can be difficult to win, though. A truck driver and an auto worker who said they lost their jobs because of their weight lost their cases. Another suit, filed by a New York teacher who says he didn’t get tenure due to his obesity, is pending.

The ABA Journal covered the issue in “A Matter of Some Weight” in June 2005, page 17.

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