Obesity: A Protected Disability in California?

January 25, 2018 | From HRCalifornia Extra

State and federal laws have long protected workers from harassment and discrimination based on disabilities. Obesity alone has not traditionally been considered a disability; to qualify for protected status, obesity must result from an underlying physiological disorder.

A recent California Court of Appeal case, however, has directed courts to broadly construe the definition of “disability” — including in the cases of obese workers — to ensure the maximum legal protections (Cornell v. Berkeley Tennis Club, 2017 WL 6524707 (2017)).

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