The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), tasked with pursuing discrimination claims under a variety of federal laws, has broken new ground by filing a lawsuit for obesity discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA).

The ADAAA greatly expands the definition of disability and makes it just as illegal to discriminate against the actually disabled as it does against those "regarded as" disabled.

In this case, Resources for Human Development (RHD) is being sued for terminating an employee the non-profit viewed as unable to perform her duties because of obesity. The employee has since passed away, but the EEOC is proceeding with the lawsuit in hopes of establishing a precedent.

Employers and human resource professionals should familiarize themselves with Personnel Concepts’ Harassment and Discrimination section of the company’s Web site. This section contains a variety of posters, manuals and compliance products to help keep the EEOC from your doorstep.