When are overweight employees considered ‘Disabled’?

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in Employment Law,Hiring,Human Resources

Is obesity a disability? Until recently, the answer has been “Fat chance!” But that may be changing. A recent ADA court ruling opens the door to some types of obesity being defined as disabilities.

The ADA defines a disabled person as one with “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.”

In most cases, obesity in and of itself is not a disability under the ADA. But some argue that in extreme cases, called “morbid obesity,” the effects should be classified as disabilities under the ADA.

The ADA also covers employees whom employers regard as disabled, even though they’re not. Consequently, employers violate the law when they treat overweight employees as if they are disabled and those employees can perform the job’s essential functions.

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America is growing, and that’s not good. Morbidly obese Americans, defined as those having a body mass index of 40 or mor...(register to read more)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynnette December 5, 2012 at 1:30 am

Enjoyed the article. This was extremely helpful as I am dealing with a similar situation with an employee.

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