By Nigel J. Covington III
Obesity is often cited as causing a national health crisis, with 35.7 percent of U.S. adults fitting into a category associated with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The entire area of discrimination against overweight people is not as cut and dried as it would be for race discrimination,” says Justine Lisser, a spokesperson for The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), which took effect in 2009, complicates the issue. The ADAAA makes it easier for plaintiffs to prove they have covered disabilities generally, and obesity-related disabilities are no exception. Notably, it makes it easier to prove an employee was “regarded as” disabled by his employer.
The National Report has learned the ACLU is currently reviewing a number of cases involving claims of discrimination by these glutinous sloths and dregs of humanity. And the obesity question is gaining ground for the latest civil rights battle in the United States.
While the question of discrimination is something the courts will have to rule on, many Americans and employers have voiced their concern that giving equal protection under the law to fat lazy people as they would in a case of racial discrimination would have devastating consequences on employers, the insurance industry and the public while creating a windfall of cash for doctors and health care workers.
Paul Horner, 35, is president and CEO of the Michigan based Garrido Industries Corp., who recently spoke before a group of business owners, contractors and health insurance company representatives all of whom have voiced concern over any legislation that would define obesity as a legitimate disability.
Horner said, “This is a lose-lose situation for all parties involved. Such legislation only creates a new class of welfare recipient, and will boost medical insurance costs thereby placing the burden of these people’s care onto the other 65% of the public who have the self control to eat a healthy and balanced diet to maintain a reasonable weight.”
He continued, “The public is not the problem, the obese sweat hogs are. Obesity is a choice not a disease. If someone wants to eat themselves to death on Big Macs that is a choice. And it’s none of my business to tell anyone what they can and cannot eat. If Fatty McPork-Chop down the street wants to fly for the holidays to visit family for instance, and her fat ass takes up two seats on the plane yes the airlines has every right to charge her for the number of seats she occupies.”
Ms. Pork-Chop claiming she’s being discriminated against because she has to pay for what she uses is ridiculous. The solution for fat people is to change their behavior which again is their choice. By choosing not to act they choose to remain the disgusting slobs they are. And no one has any right to tell them different,” said Horner.
Insurance industry lobbyist Karen Bakke, said, “The obese have the same rights we all have. Legislating special laws giving the obese additional rights to claim discrimination or to sue employers for firing them because they cannot safely perform the tasks required of their position is enabling their bad choices. If you’re a blimp and you get fired from your job that should be a wakeup call for you to act. Suing your employer for discrimination is a scam and one the AMA supports. Hey, if we legislate everyone’s petty gripe and everyone’s poor choices as a disabling medical condition the medical profession stands to make billions off it. Doctors will be clamoring for obese patients and can fleece the insurance industry, the public and the patient for as long as they live.”
Though this issue has moved sluggishly through the judicial system in the past the move to declare two-ton Tessie and Honey Boo Boo’s beastly mother as our responsibility is gaining steam.
Inside Council: Avoiding ADA liability when dealing with obese workers,
Lifting the Unbearable Weight of Morbid Obesity, by Samer G. Mattar, MD, FACS, Frcs (Ed),