A former Chicago bus driver who says he lost his job because he weighed nearly 600 pounds is asking a U.S. appeals court to become the first to rule that federal law protects workers from being fired because they are obese.
Nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese, and a ruling that obesity is a disability could open employers up to a wave of lawsuits, business groups have said in similar cases. But Mark Richardson, a former bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority, is trying to convince the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that obesity is a complex disease that is not merely the result of lifestyle choices and should be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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