Disabled rights roundup


  • From the 9th Circuit: ” Under what circumstances, if any, does obesity qualify as an “impairment” under the Washington Law against Discrimination, Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.040?”

    RCW 49.60.40 gives us this:
    (7)(a) “Disability” means the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that:
    (iii) Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact.
    (b) A disability exists . . . whether or not it limits the ability to work generally or work at a particular job . . .
    (c) For purposes of this definition, “impairment” includes, but is not limited to:
    (i) Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
    (d) Only for the purposes of qualifying for reasonable accommodation in employment,
    an impairment must be known or shown through an interactive process to exist in fact . .

    The guy probably hits 4 or 5 items on the impairment list. Nobody is contesting that he is obese. But until he participates in the interactive process, we’ll never know.

    • The interactive process becomes relevant only when reasonable accommodations are in play; it has no role in a regarded as claim or its equivalent under WLAD. Most obesity discrimination claims are regarded as claims, not failure to accommodate claims, and in regarded as claims, the key issue remains whether obesity is an impairment, a claim the courts of appeal have rejected under the ADA..

  • The County in which I live is changing the County seal and logo to prevent an ADA lawsuit over contrast in the colors of the logo.

    The cost of this change is unknown and it is also unknown whether the County will expend the remaining supplies of paper, signs, etc, or whether they will take everything down and redo it.

    There are literally thousands of road signs marking the boundaries between incorporated areas and the county.

    The Tourist Development Commission will have to replace brochures in hotels, rest areas, etc.

    The County Attorney (a misnomer if ever there was one) says the change should be made because of the threat of a suit, and not because the county has been sued.

  • In the case of the deaf would-be limousine driver, not only is there the issue of his ability to hear other drivers’ horns, but one wonders how well he could communicate with passengers and the dispatcher.