Although there are employment laws protecting workers from discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex or age, there are no laws that specifically prohibit employers from discriminating based on physical appearance including weight. As a result, many overweight Americans are relying on the Americans With Disabilities Act, to protect them from discrimination, although they are using different approaches. Some argue that their obesity qualifies as a disability and that discriminating against them violates the Americans With Disabilities Act. In a method that appears to be more successful, others have argued that employers violated the disabilities act by wrongly regarding them as having a disability.
See Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, August 3, 2003