Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

More On

Obesity Action

In June, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially recognized obesity as a disease, raising the question of whether this would push obesity into the ever-expanding category of conditions requiring accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has long distinguished between “morbid obesity,” commonly defined as a body mass index greater than 40, which it considers a disability, and less-severe obesity, which it does not. 

The AMA action, while interesting, does not carry the same weight as the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of new diagnoses in the DSM-5 because the AMA does not set diagnostic standards and codes, says James McDonald Jr., a Fisher & Phillips partner.

“But I do anticipate a greater push by plaintiffs’ counsel to attempt to qualify obesity as a disability,” he says. “Whether the EEOC changes its definition remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised, given the broad way the EEOC has defined disability under the ADA Amendments Act.”

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.