Without Evidence of an Underlying Physiological Disorder, Obesity is not a Disability Covered by the ADA

June 18, 2019

Addressing for the first time whether obesity, even without evidence of an underlying physiological condition, meets the definition of physical impairment and is thus an actual disability for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) purposes, the Seventh Circuit, joining the Second, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits, held that without evidence a bus operator's extreme obesity was caused by a physiological disorder or condition, his obesity was not a physical impairment. Nor could he show his employer perceived his obesity to be a physical impairment.