OLYMPIA (AP) — It’s illegal for employers to refuse to hire someone who is obese if they are otherwise qualified for the job, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In a 7-2 ruling, the high court said obesity is covered by the Washington Law Against Discrimination, which protects employees with disabilities.
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. The justices said obesity “is recognized by the medical community as a ‘physiological disorder, or condition.'”