Mondaq Business Briefing -Fox Rothschild LLP United States – Avoiding ADA Liability When Dealing With Obese Workers
Publication Date 04/11/2014
Source: Mondaq Business Briefing
By Inside Counsel
Rich Cohen was quoted in the Inside Counsel article “Avoiding ADA Liability When Dealing with Obese Workers.” While the full text can be found in the September 24, 2012, issue of Inside Counsel, a synopsis is noted below.
Obesity is creating a crisis for employers, who are faced with the task of balancing concerns that severely overweight people are more likely to get injured, miss work and drive up group health insurance costs against the risk of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Attorneys says the evolving position of the federal courts, coupled with the potential for more state and local laws protecting the obese, requires employers to be aware of the implications adverse actions against obese employees could have.
“I’d advise an employer to be very sensitive if an employee is obese and some action has to be taken,” says Rich Cohen. “Eventually people who are obese will be covered in some fashion, so I would advise them, ‘Don’t be the first one to make the law.'”
Cohen noted that employers should be sure to respond appropriately when an obese employee asks for a reasonable accommodation to do their job. “It is very important to have a good-faith dialogue,” he says.
Originally published by Inside Counsel.