September 11, 2009

More on the work comp-financed weight loss surgery ruling

Charles Wilson of AP has written an article about the Indiana court ruling which determined that Boston's The Gourmet Pizza must pay for an employee's weight loss surgery under workers comp. For the article, Wilson spoke with attorneys representing both sides of the issue, as well as our own Tom Lynch for the workers comp perspective.

The so-called "lifestyle illnesses" of obesity and diabetes pose complicated issues and challenges for employers:

"Both Lynch and Maltby said the issue won't go away soon, in part because one-third of American adults are considered obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more. The index is based on height and weight. Last year, at least 220,000 obesity surgeries were done in the United States, says the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

And Lynch said the ruling could have repercussions beyond obesity and weight-loss surgery.

"Who among us does not have some kind of situation that either now or in the future ... could contribute to an injury?" he said. "This could be a big deal."

See our original post: Compensible weight loss surgery? A new wrinkle in obesity.

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| 2 Comments

2 Comments

Maltby hit the nail on the head, employers will pro-actively discrminate aganist obese people if right-off the bat they are "$20k+ more risky" than someone not obese in the event of an industrial injury.

Tom Lynch is quoted in the article as saying "Legally, you cannot refuse to hire this 350-pound person because they're 350 pounds. That's illegal."

WHAT law is he speaking about? Weight is not covered in the normal "protected" issues, i.e. race, sex, age or religion.

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This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on September 11, 2009 7:14 AM.

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