Obese Man Sues McDonald's for Discrimination

April 18, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Refusing to dismiss the case, a federal judge has agreed to hear the arguments of an overweight New Haven, Connecticut man claiming discriminatory hiring practices at a McDonald's restaurant.

>Joseph Connor filed the lawsuit last year against the golden arches, claiming he was discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA).   Connor, who tops the scales at 420 pounds, contends the violation occurred when McDonald’s regarded him as morbidly obese and refused to hire him based on that perception, according to an Associated Press report.

>Further, he alleges that his obesity is a disability, and the restaurant chain violated the CFEPA by deliberately not hiring him.   Based on these grounds, US District Judge Stefan Underhill determined Connor must be given the opportunity to prove that he is protected under the law.

McDonald’s had requested the dismissal on the grounds that obesity, except in special cases where the obesity is due to a physiological disorder, is not a “physical impairment” within the meaning of the ADA.