Obesity Is An Impairment, Wash. High Court Tells 9th Circ.

Law360 (July 11, 2019, 10:55 PM EDT) -- An employer that refuses to hire someone who is obese is violating a state anti-discrimination law, the Washington Supreme Court said Thursday in response to a Ninth Circuit certified question concerning a BNSF Railway job applicant's discrimination suit, saying obesity is a physiological disease that qualifies as an impairment.

“Obesity is not merely the status of being overweight. Obesity is recognized by the medical community as a primary disease,” according to the majority opinion, penned by Washington Chief Justice Mary E. Fairhurst. The answer, which included dissent from Judge Mary Isabel Yu, comes nearly a year after the Ninth Circuit asked...

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Attached Documents



Case Information

Case Title

Subscribers Only

Case Number

Subscribers Only


Appellate - 9th Circuit

Nature of Suit

4445 Americans w/Disabilities Act-Empl

Date Filed

March 18, 2016

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