The Americans with Disabilities Act does not cover obesity, unless a doctor has shown the obesity is a result of a proven physiological cause. As a result, many employers avoid hiring and retaining a large number of obese employees since the larger the number of obese employees in the workplace, the higher the cost of workers compensation insurance for the employer.
Obesity Causes Workplace Injuries
A study conducted by Duke University followed 100 full-time employees labeled as "obese", having a body mass index of 40, to determine the impact obesity had on the cost of workers compensation.
The statistics are alarming. The study found that obese employees have twice as many worker compensation claims as non-obese employees. When an obese employee is injured, they require up to 13 times more days off from work to recover from similar injuries of non-obese employees. The health insurance or medical expenses for obese employes is 7 times higher than non-obese employees, and the idemnity cost of obese employees is 11 times higher than non-obese employees.
John Hopkins researchers found the more obese an individual, the greater the risk to being hurt on the job.
Workers Compensation and Obesity
Most workers compensation claims for obese employees involve knees and ankles, lower backs, and wrist injuries. Obese individuals also have a number of comorbidity problems as a result of the extra weight that delays recovery from injuries. Typical medical issues of the obese involve hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
The National Counsel on Compensation Insurance estimates these medical issues increase workers comp claim expenses by 30 times.
If you or someone you love has been discriminated against due to obesity, or have been hurt in the workplace as an obese employee – you may need assistance from a workers compensation lawyer in NY. Contact Markhoff and Mittman today to evaluate your case.