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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at hrlawupdate@verrilldana.com, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Perceived Disability (2)

Wednesday
Apr062016

Obesity and the ADA: Does 33% of the U.S. Population Have ADA Protection as a Result of Obesity?

Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion in Morriss v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 14-3858 (April 5, 2016), rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that obesity (in and of itself) is sufficient to maintain an ADA claim. The Eighth Circuit joins the Sixth Circuit and the Second Circuit in coming to this conclusion.

Melvin Morriss filed suit alleging that BNSF Railway Company refused to hire him on account of his obesity, and thereby discriminated against him in violation of the ADAAA and the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act. The action alleged both disability discrimination and “regarded as” discrimination.

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Wednesday
May062015

Perceived Disability

Last December, the Connecticut Supreme Court held in Desrosiers v. Diageo North America, Inc., 314 Conn.  773 (2014), that the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. §46a-51 et seq., prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals whom they perceive to be physically disabled regardless of whether the individual has an actual physical disability as defined under the Act. Despite the Court’s apparent expansion of the state’s anti-discrimination laws, the Appellate Court’s recent decision in Eaddy v. City of Bridgeport, 156 Conn. App. 597 (2015), suggests that it may not be easy for plaintiffs to succeed on “perceived” disability claims. 

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