7th Circuit to Rule on Obesity ADA Protections Case - Articles

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Posted by: Chelsea Bennett on Sep 17, 2018

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District faces a challenging case surrounding whether severely obese workers without an underlying medical condition should be protected from job discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Bloomberg BNA reports. A former Chicago Transit Authority bus driver, Mark Richardson, alleges that the CTA violated the ADA after they regarded him as disabled due to his severe obesity and fired him, though Richardson claims he is still able to work as a bus driver. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does consider severe obesity alone to be a physical impairment protected under the ADA and has a case pending before the Ninth Circuit arguing just that; however, in previous years, the 8th, 2nd and 6th Circuits have ruled the opposite way. The Obesity Action Coalition, AARP and other groups have filed friend of the court briefs with the 7th Circuit in support of Richardson. The ruling of the court will affect Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin employers.