News & Analysis as of


Obesity as Perceived Disability

by Ruder Ware on

I recently did a blog about obesity as a disability under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. I concluded that the condition of obesity did not automatically constitute a disability although courts could find that an employer...more

Obesity as a Disabling Condition in Wisconsin?

by Ruder Ware on

A recent decision from the State of California has held that obesity is considered a protected disability under California law if the condition of obesity is caused by a psychological condition. This gave me pause to wonder...more

Obese Employees May Be Protected Under FEHA

In December 2017, the California Court of Appeal published a decision confirming obesity is a protected disability in California if it has a physiological cause. In Cornell v. Berkeley Tennis Club, 18 Cal. App. 5th 908...more

Obesity Discrimination Claims Allowed To Proceed Under California Law

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Is obesity a disability under California law? Are a supervisor’s alleged “fat remarks” sufficient evidence of disability discrimination? On December 21, 2017, a California Appellate Court published an extensive decision...more

Is That a Disability?

by Zelle LLP on

We recently wrote about the $3.3 million verdict in a disability discrimination case brought by an employee who is allergic to certain scents and chemicals. For some of our readers, it came as a surprise that a scent allergy...more

Health Alert (Australia) March 20, 2017

by DLA Piper on

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpts from Judgments: New South Wales - 15 March 2017 - NG v Chinese Medicine Board of Australia [2017] NSWCATOD 36 - PROFESSIONS AND...more

Weighty Issues: Obesity And The But-For Test Under The ADAAA

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Obesity is still a hot topic both in our health conscious culture and in our courtrooms where we continue to see ADAAA claims based on the notion that an employer fired an employee because the employee was obese. After the...more

Christmas Disability?

by Ruder Ware on

I have written over the year regarding disability discrimination and the notion that an employer can be subject to a discrimination complaint under both state and federal law if the employer “perceives” an individual to be...more

“Weight Watchers”— Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: ‘Tis the season of food temptation: the average American gains at least five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. California employers need to beware of weight discrimination in the fluctuating...more

Recent Disability Discrimination Cases Outline Employer Responsibilities

by Ruder Ware on

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

Asleep at the Wheel: Trucking Company’s Sleep Apnea Policy and Procedures Reviewed by Federal Courts

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Recently decided court case finds that motor vehicle carriers may lawfully require overweight drivers to submit to a medical examination testing for obstructive sleep apnea. We had previously blogged...more

Obesity and the Americans With Disabilities Act

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court denied a petition for review from a case holding that morbid obesity, without an underlying physiological condition, is not a “disability” under The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)....more

Morbidly Obese Employee Entitled to Leave of Absence As Reasonable Accommodation

by Murtha Cullina on

A case decided by a Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Hearing Officer on September 21, 2016 serves as a reminder that, even if an employee is not entitled to paid time-off, granting leave for medical reasons may...more

FDA Approves AspireAssist Obesity Device

by Knobbe Martens on

On June 14, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AspireAssist, an obesity treatment device that uses a surgically-placed tube to drain a portion of the stomach contents after every meal. According to a press...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

by Baker Donelson on

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

by Littler on

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

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

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

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

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

Is Obesity A “Per Se” Disability? One Court Says No.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week that obesity is not a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act — even as amended in 2009 — unless the condition was...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

Guest Post -- The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences – Part III, Obesity and other Metabolic Disorders

The gut microbiome, a collection of microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract, has emerged as an attractive target for pharmaceutical intervention for the treatment of a variety of disorders. This is the fourth article...more

What Tips the Scale? Obesity as a Perceived Disability Under the ADA

Employers often call with questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they navigate when and how to make reasonable accommodations for employees with known disabilities. Most are generally familiar with the...more

Something is Rotten at the Pork Roll Company … and it’s not the Pork Rolls: Flatulent Employee (and his Wife) Bring Claims for...

Is passing gas now protected by our anti-discrimination laws? Over the past several years, we have written extensively about the possibility of obesity discrimination lawsuits becoming the next wave of disability...more

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