Vienna, VA (PRWEB) July 24, 2013
Obesity within the workforce has become an increasing concern for American employers following the decision by the American Medical Association to recognize obesity as a disease. The health of employees is an obvious concern to employers who seek to avoid losing work days to obesity-related medical conditions, but there are other concerns as well. These concerns are outlined in an article in The Kansas City Star that was published on July 22, 2013. This article was written by Diane Stafford and is entitled “Obesity’s new label a concern for employers.”
Stafford identifies several different areas of concern for employers who face the issue of obesity among their workforce. A case study of these concerns is a BAE Systems employee who alleged in a lawsuit that he suffered from discrimination because he was fired for being obese even though he was able to fulfill his responsibilities as an employee. The article quotes two legal experts – Shannon Morales and Elizabeth Rudnick – who say that the legal risk for employers would greatly increase if the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decides to list obesity as a disability. They say that currently only those employees who have morbid obesity are recognized as having a disability, though if someone was able to prove they were not promoted because they were obese they would also potentially be able to take legal action against their employer.
The article advises employers to avoid suggesting that someone is obese, and to avoid taking steps to treat them differently from other employees. It is also clear from this article and from the recent attention focused on the international problem of obesity that potential solutions for weight loss are becoming more in demand than ever.
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