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Will the AMA's Position that Obesity is a Disease Create More ADA Disability Claims? What Employers Need to Know
June 26, 2013
Currently, the EEOC regards those who are “morbidly obese” (defined as weighing twice the normal body weight) as physically impaired and generally disabled under the ADA. In contrast, under most circumstances, those who are merely overweight or obese—without other exacerbating medical conditions—are not substantially limited in some major life activity, so they are not necessarily considered disabled. The AMA’s new position puts pressure on policymakers to place obesity under the umbrella of ADA-defined disabilities. Even if the EEOC does not rush to expand the definition of disability, employers should be aware that overweight employees may still be protected under the ADA.
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