Evaluating Obesity As An Impairment At Wash. High Court

By Tina Tellado and Trisha Thompson (November 7, 2018, 11:44 AM EST) -- Across the United States, there is currently only one state (Michigan) that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person's weight. Notwithstanding the lack of explicit protections for obese people, many state laws have faced weight-based discrimination challenges. Washington is currently facing such a challenge. On Sept. 17, 2018, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the Washington Supreme Court: "Under what circumstances, if any, does obesity qualify as an 'impairment' under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), Wash. Rev. Code §49.060.040?"[1] The answer to this question will not just determine whether the plaintiff in Taylor v. Burlington Railroad Holdings Inc.,[2] has...

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