Lawsuits Involving Obesity Discrimination

According to Equal Opportunity Employment Commission more cases have been filed for obesity discrimination, including one particular case involving Lisa Harrison who alleged that she was fired from her Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization because of obesity. Harrison unfortunately died before her lawsuit was filed, however, her estate will be represented in the lawsuit against her employer.

The lawsuit alleges that Harrison was able to perform all the necessary functions of her job, but her employer felt that she was limited in major activities including walking. The lawsuit is claiming that this is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and states that this case is based on “a classic case of disability bias, based on myths and stereotypes”.

Cases based on weight discrimination have seen an increase, however this is the first major action taken by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most cases have relied on human rights ordinances that are in place in their states. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has also stepped on their enforcement efforts to focus on employments that are hired or fired based on background checks, credit checks, and criminal records.

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