LABOR

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Obese Woman's Bias Suit Upheld: The ruling marks the first time a federal appeals court has applied the rights of the disabled to the obese, said Lynette Labinger, lawyer for Bonnie Cook. Cook, who weighs 320 pounds, has already been reinstated as an aide with the state Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals. A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston upheld a $100,000 jury award to Cook, who sued after she was told she could not return to a state job until she lost weight. The state argued that obesity is voluntary and cannot be regarded as a handicap under federal discrimination laws.

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