“9th Circ. Revives Jilted BNSF Applicant’s Obesity Bias Suit”
The Ninth Circuit on Thursday reopened a BNSF Railway job applicant’s disability bias suit alleging the company illegally yanked a job offer because of his weight, saying there is enough evidence for a jury to find BNSF’s perception that he was obese played a significant role in its decision.
A three-judge panel partially overturned a ruling by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart that granted BNSF Railway Co. summary judgment in a suit brought by Casey and Angelina Taylor, a married couple who accused BNSF of violating the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
The panel held that jurors could reasonably find that Casey Taylor, who applied to work as an electronic technician for BNSF, was perceived by the employer as being obese, which the Washington Supreme Court recently told the Ninth Circuit always qualifies as an “impairment” under the WLAD.
…BNSF and Burlington Northern Railroad Holdings Inc. are represented by Bryan Neal of Thompson & Knight LLP and Britenae Pierce of Ryan Swanson & Cleveland PLLC.