Washington court: Obesity covered by antidiscrimination law

Washington court: Obesity covered by antidiscrimination law

PHOTO CREDIT: Legal Gavel

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Supreme Court says is illegal for employers to refuse to hire someone who is obese if they are otherwise qualified for the job.

In a 7-2 ruling Thursday, the high court said obesity is covered by state antidiscrimination law.

The ruling answered an inquiry from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which asked the court to determine under what circumstances, if any, obesity qualified as an 'impairment' under the law.

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Casey Taylor sued after the BNSF Railway Company withdrew its conditional offer of employment for an electronic technician position after a medical exam found his body mass index to be in the severely obese range.

The two dissenting justices said the majority's ruling was too broad.

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