Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, December 01, 2005

BIG Truckdrivers - One Wins, Another Sues

I am not quite sure what Interstate Distributor Co. transports but one thing is clear -- it has some big guys behind the wheel. According to a story in The Oregonian, Second obese trucker files suit, two of them have taken offense at being suspended and sued their employer.

John McDuffy,6 foot, 550 pounds, has already gone to trial and got a verdict for $9,000 in back wages and $100,000 in damages. Now David Mankey, 5 foot 6, 450 pounds, is suing for his suspension which occurred three weeks before the first trial. Although the story doesn't make it clear what the actual cause of action is, McDuffy's lawyers say they have been told by two legal information services that "the verdict appears to be among the first in the nation awarded for obesity discrimination."

The story caught my eye as I am gathering cases and other material for an early February speech for the Advanced Employment Law Seminar for the Texas State Bar:
The Changing Face of Discrimination: Piercings, makeup and mannerisms are now more than just a matter of personal taste as courts begin to grapple with issues that differ greatlyfrom those in the early days of discrimination law.
Obesity may or may not fit, but successful claims would certainly be a change to the legal scene.

If you have other thoughts or ideas about what might fit in such a presentation, please pass them on.

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