Woman Fired For Being Too Fat. Claiming It's a Disability.

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Fat people often are not hired because of discrimination. Employers might even be more hesitant to hire fat people if the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC] is successful in a lawsuit contending a fat woman was fired for obesity and that condition was one covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The litigation is against Resources for Human Development [RHD]. It fired Lisa Harrison whose severe obesity, RHD claimed, made it impossible for her to perform all the essential duties of her job. That position was counseling children of mothers undergoing treatment for addiction.

No surprise this lawsuit is getting plenty of attention. Fat people now are under a spotlight which they don't need in this tight labor market.

Since litigation is a slow-moving process, employers might decide that, given the ambiguous classification of fat people and the law, they should just steer clear of the whole enchilada. Longer term, should fat people be designated a group with a disability, then employers would be mandated to provide them with accommodations such as everything from larger chairs to filing cabinets which don't require any bending over. You bet, they will find shrewd ways to not hire fat people at all and find legal ways to terminate workers, as in a layoff, if they become obese during employment.


Next: Is Weight Watchers Biased Against the Overweight? >>



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