When employers end up embattled in a discrimination lawsuit, it usually centers on race, gender or age. But there are plenty of other potential problems areas firms need to be aware of.
One such area: Obesity discrimination.
Under the amended ADA regs, “severe obesity” can meet the definition of a disability. So firms who appear to discriminate against obese workers might well find themselves in the same boat as this organization.
A lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involved a former (and now deceased) employee for Resources for Human Development (RHD), a non-profit for chemically dependent women and their children, who claimed she was let go for being severely obese.
According to the suit, RHD allegedly let the woman go even though there was no evidence she couldn’t perform her essential job functions.
Because the employee died during the proceedings, RHD settled the lawsuit with her estate. As for RHD, they ended up on the hook for $125,000.