Sunday, September 30, 2012

Interesting Practitioner Piece on Workplace Weight Restrictions Under the ADAAA

See this piece in Thomson Reuters News and Insight, by management lawyers Julie Ungerman and Jennifer Jones.  It begins:
We live in a society that is obsessed with appearance, and studies show that many people equate appearance to success. While employers may not be aware of these studies, some are trying to control appearance in the workplace by imposing weight restrictions on job applicants or employees as a condition of employment.

Whether these policies are permissible can only be answered with a “maybe.” There is no federal law that prohibits obesity discrimination, so plaintiffs have brought weight discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) with varying degrees of success.1 However, in light of recent amendments to the ADA, one wonders whether plaintiffs will be more or less successful in bringing weight discrimination claims.

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