Obesity Disability

News & Analysis as of

Recent Disability Discrimination Cases Outline Employer Responsibilities

Two recent decisions regarding disability discrimination have outlined an employer’s responsibilities when dealing with a potential claim of disability and need for accommodation. These decisions offer reminders for...more

Is Obesity a Disability Under the ADA Not Without Physical Impairment Eighth Circuit Rules

Obesity does not meet the definition of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for either the discrimination or “regarded as” provisions of the statute, a panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Morbid Obesity Must Have Physiological Cause to Gain ADA Protection

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was adopted, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has considered morbid obesity to fall within the definition of a protected disability. Earlier this month, the Eighth Circuit...more

Courts Cut the Fat, Clarify When Obesity is a Disability Under the ADA

The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities subject to certain exceptions. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 effectively...more

Obesity Alone as a Disability? Slim Chance, Says Eighth Circuit

A memorable scene from the dark comedy “In Bruges” features a clash between a disgraced Irish assassin, played by Colin Farrell, and three portly American tourists after Farrell’s character warns them not to climb the narrow...more

Obesity Not A Disability Without An Underlying Medical Cause

In June of last year, we pondered whether obesity is a mere physical characteristic or a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as now amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act...more

Question #274: Opining on Obesity

Question: We have a large meat processing facility in Northern Minnesota. We were recently hiring for one of our positions in the plant requiring work with large mechanical equipment. Because we consider this position to be...more

Eighth Circuit Holds That Obesity That Is Not Caused By an Underlying Physiological Condition Is Not a Covered “Impairment” Under...

In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, the Eighth Circuit recently held that obesity that is not caused by an underlying physiological condition is not a covered “impairment” for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act...more

Obesity can be a disability, ECJ confirms

Ben Gorner, a Partner in our Birmingham office, comments: As we reported in Be Aware on 1 July and 18 July, the ECJ was recently asked in the case of Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening to consider whether obesity should be...more

Ugh! – Does this ADA Claim Make Me Look Fat?

We are all familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities, and the ADA requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities...more

Is Obesity a Disability?

The Advocate General (the top legal counsel of the European Court of Justice (ECJ)) has given his opinion on whether obesity is a disability for the purposes of EU discrimination law in the case of Karltoft v Municipality of...more

Another Judge Finds that Obesity May be a “Disability” Under the ADA

Yet another federal court judge, the Honorable Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. of the Eastern District of Missouri, recently ruled, in Whittaker v. America’s Car-Mart, Inc., that an employee’s severe obesity could constitute a...more

Employers, Check Your Weight-Bias: Obesity, Disability, And The Broadened Coverage Of The ADAAA

A study released by the Center for Disease Control in August 2012 estimates that 32 percent of adults in Alabama are obese. Alabama regularly appears in the Top Five of the list of “heaviest states,” currently weighing in at...more

Getting the Best Medical Care: a Newsletter from Patrick Malone - November 2013

In This Issue: - The Size of the Problem - Searching for No-Fat Mr. Goodbar - A Prescription for Doctors - A Prescription for Patients - Excerpt from Introduction: The More Weight-Loss...more

Polsinelli Podcast - What Employers Need to Know About Obesity in the Workplace [Audio]

Recently, the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease rather than a medical condition. How could this potentially impact employers and workplace issues? In this week's "Inside Law," podcast,...more

Quirky Question #209, Obesity as a Disability under MT Law

We are in Montana and a very obese woman recently applied for a manager position. The position is more physical than most in that there is significant walking between facilities, and the candidate must climb ladders to view...more

Employment Law -- Sep 12, 2013

Federal Agencies Respond to Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), federal agencies are starting to respond with new...more

Obesity as a Disability Under the ADA: Is it More Likely Now Than Before?

In July, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy that officially labels obesity as a disease, “requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention.” According to the...more

Legal Alert: Obesity Is A Disease, But Is It A Disability?

The American Medical Association's (AMA's) declaration that obesity is a disease could open the door to a new wave of lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ...more

Is obesity a disease? The American Medical Association says “yes”; the Americans with Disabilities Act says . . .

In June 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity a disease. The president of the AMA gave several reasons for this declaration “[R]ecognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical...more

Will Obesity Claims Be the Next Wave of ADA Litigation?

In a new federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Whittaker v. America's Car-Mart, Inc., the plaintiff is alleging his former employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)...more

Act Now Advisory: EEOC's Disabilities Guidance Updates Coincides with the APA's Manual of Mental Disorders Update and the AMA's...

On May 15, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") updated its prior guidance regarding cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, so as to clarify employers' obligations under the Americans...more

Labor Letter, February 2013: How To Weigh Obesity In Employment Decisions

Imagine you are the Hiring Manager for a distribution warehouse and have just begun interviewing applicants for a materials handler position. The first candidate enters the room, standing at a height of 5’4”, weighing more...more

Is Obesity A Disability Under The New ADA? Probably.

Is obesity a "disability" entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act? As our nation allegedly gets more zaftig this question could take on enormous significance. ...more

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