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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Last Group Openly Insulted: 7 Ways to Prove Weight Discrimination

I wrote a piece in AOL Jobs called 7 Ways to Prove Weight Discrimination, which I'll excerpt below. But what I really want to talk about are the comments that showed up within a couple hours of the piece going up:
From jmasiulewicz:
"The only category of the ADA that can be voluntarily acquired. A disability by choice. Disgusting."

From rkeeeballs
"If it looks like a fat slob....it is !"

From mckdarren
"Yeah, let's encourage more lawsuits, Donna, instead of encouraging fat people to get control of their lives and health. You're a disgrace."

These jerks prove my point exactly. Overweight people are one of the last groups that Americans feel free to insult openly. Obesity has officially been declared a disease by the medical community. When will we stop treating the overweight like they are less than human?

Anyhow, rant over. Here is the beginning of the article.
In June, the American Medical Association declared that obesity is officially a disease. I've written in the past about weight discrimination and whether it's covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The big question is whether, now that disability has been declared a disease, the overweight will find more legal protection under discrimination laws.

Well, the lawsuits are already flying. One law firm reports that a client has been sued for weight discrimination, using the AMA's declaration in support of the claim that weight discrimination is now covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. I'm sure there are others being filed around the country. 
So, how do you prove illegal weight discrimination? Here are 7 things you'll need to be able to prove if you want to sue for weight discrimination: 

You can read how at AOL Jobs.


  1. Here's another beaut, from theframingone: "if you are fat then you can be called fat , if you don t like it get off you fat as* and lose some weight oh thats right it is a disease nowadays , I call it lazy for most of you , yes some may have a glandular issue or some under lying cause but for the most part fat people are fat by choice so deal with it , put down the fried chicken leg and go for a walk"

  2. I'd like to know how this is the ONLY category that can be voluntarily acquired. What about drug or alcohol addiction? Not to mention that any one of these conditions can also have extenuating circumstances that others may not know about (and honestly it's none of their business what is going on in someone else's life). I think that people need to quit judging others based on preconceived ideas of what causes whatever condition they have. I think you're right, Donna: this is truly one of the last groups that people don't think to call out when rudeness to someone in this group is happening right in front of them. Thank you for taking a stand for human beings, especially when others seem to take pleasure in demeaning and de-humanizing them. People are people, and having a different body shape doesn't make them any less so.

    1. Thanks Jess! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Other voluntarily acquired categories I can think of: religion, pregnancy, association with a protected person, marital status (in some states), sexual orientation (also only in some states), having a gun in a car in the parking lot at work (quite a few states, Florida included) . . . need I go on? The assertion is ridiculous. For many, it's not voluntary at all, which is why the medical establishment has finally recognized it as a disability.

    2. I was mainly trying to stay under ADA, but in broader terms of protected classes, definitely! There are so many categories that we voluntarily place ourselves in that someone else may have an issue with. And as someone who has a medical condition that makes it very, very hard to lose weight and very easy to gain, I am glad to finally have this seen as a medical issue and not just a control issue. I work very hard to maintain my weight (which is still overweight, but at least not gaining) in the face of my medical issue. Adding insults and other people's looks on top of my own personal issues with my medical condition really does weigh a person down sometimes.

      And "finally" is right, Donna. Thanks again for your insight. :)


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