A 5'11" 333-pound accountant has received permission from the New Jersey state appeals court to sue his employer for discrimination. The court granted permission for the lawsuit to continue if the plaintiff can produce medical evidence proving that his weight is not a product of "overindulgence and lassitude."
Joseph Lally, 46, is seeking restitution on the grounds that he was fired from J.P. Woods Co. as a direct result of his obesity. Lally was fired in February 1997 from his position of treasurer/controller.
The company stated it fired Lally after he failed to submit a requested action plan which would set out his plans for acquiring certain skills required of the job.
Lally claims the discharge came about after he failed to meet a challenge by the employer to lose 100 pounds in 14 months. The employer had offered Lally a $25,000 bonus if he met the challenge.
New Jersey is one of a few states in the nation that recognizes obesity as a form of job discrimination.
Read a related article on preparing job descriptions to possibly avoid situations like this one.