Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Morriss v. BNSF Railway: Obesity Not Covered Under ADA Unless the Result of a Physiological Disorder or Condition

In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 14-3858 (8th Cir. Apr. 5, 2016), the court held that "for obesity to qualify as a physical impairment -- and thus a disability -- under the [Americans with Disabilities Act], it must result from an underlying physiological disorder or condition." Thus, the court rejected the contention that a certain level of obesity, such as having a body mass index above a particular number, is a physical impairment, in and of itself, even if it is not the result of an underlying physical disorder or condition.  Somewhat curiously, in so holding, the court rejected amicus EEOC's interpretation of its own guidance.

This blog reflects the views solely of its author. It is not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice on how to analyze any particular set of facts.