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EEOC: 600-pound man entitled to ADA protection

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It's not clear why BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems fired 680-pound $21/hour forklift operator Ronald Kratz II; the EEOC alleges that he was told he was too obese to perform his job, and was thus fired because of a "disability." BAE denies this, saying that Kratz "was not able to perform the functions of his job without posing a direct threat to his own health and safety or the health and safety of others," and that no accommodation was asked for or even possible. But the stakes were too small to litigate; the $55,000 BAE paid in settlement was less than it would have cost them to win the case on summary judgment, so future employers will not have a clear statement of the law, and the EEOC can continue to engage in ADA-creep at taxpayer expense. And employers have to account for that litigation risk when they hire, which deters job creation. [Houston Chronicle via ABAJ]

The case is EEOC v. BAE Sys., Inc., No. 4:11-cv-03497 (S.D. Tex.).

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

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