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Fat Trucker Fired Due to Weight

Both Cynthia and Ryan sent over the story of Walter Geter, a 412-pound trucker who was fired due to his weight.

Geter has been a truck driver for 30 years, and has passed company physicals with no issues. His company moved him from a larger tractor trailer to a smaller one. He couldn't physically fit, so they fired him. Geter has filed a grievance with his union and plans to sue if things don't pan out.

This case sounds pretty clear-cut to me.

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Maureen January 21st, 2004 | Link | Wow, that company has got
Wow, that company has got guts for messing with the Teamsters. Those guys don't go down without a fight.
Carolyn January 21st, 2004 | Link | Thanks goodness for Mr.
Thanks goodness for Mr. Geter - the Teamsters are a powerful force. For the rest of us, there is a very good book to help - "Tipping the Scales of Justice; Fighting Weight Based Discrimination" by Sondra Solovay (still in print). Good resource.
Stefanie January 21st, 2004 | Link | From the St. Louis
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, last two paragraphs: >>Owen Caldwell, a retired USF Holland driver and friend of Geter's, said the company usually accommodates larger drivers with bigger tractors. "What they did to him was despicable," Caldwell said. "If this is they way they are treating their employees, anybody who is a bigger guy is in trouble. They better start dieting." >> While I'm sure the trucker's friend had good intentions, this comment is terribly sad. Why should the bigger guys "start dieting?" What they should do is start hiring some good lawyers and start *suing.* This article is chilling, because it shows that employers who really do have it in for fat people can do despicable things, like force a person into an "un-doable" assignment, and then fire them "for cause" (insubordination.)
earthmama January 21st, 2004 | Link | Don't diet!! Fight
Don't diet!! Fight back!! Everyone with a brain knows that diets don't work in the long haul. Even at best it would only be a temporary fix, what then? This is discrimination plan and simple. The man was perfectly capable of doing his job, they just looked for a reason to fire him. I see no problem in an employee requesting the proper size tools and implements to do their job. This is going to keep going until they push large people out of employment all together. All of us need to speak up! Earthmama
earthmama January 21st, 2004 | Link | oops, sorry for the typo, I
oops, sorry for the typo, I meant 'plain and simple'
chasmyn January 22nd, 2004 | Link | I live in St. Louis and saw
I live in St. Louis and saw something today - just a blurb - that he has since gotten his job back. I didn't see the full story, though, but there seemed to be a "but" in there somewhere.
Dreama January 22nd, 2004 | Link | You know, I wonder how much
You know, I wonder how much of what happened was the dispatcher's attempt at punishing Geter for being fat and how much of it was just cluelessness? There's that great saying about not attributing things to malice when stupidity is the real reason, and it sounds like the dispatcher may have just been real dumb and got real defensive when the light dawned on him, and he fired Geter rather than admitting he was being lamebrained about the tractor. It's awful either way, and I hope the dispatcher gets his butt handed to him, but I'd like to see a pattern or know more about the dispatcher's reason for doing this before assigning motive and suggesting lawsuits or whatnot.
JeanC January 22nd, 2004 | Link | Here is an update, not only
Here is an update, not only did he get his job back and a bigger rig, he got back pay and an apology fromthe company:
BFB Columns March 5th, 2004 | Link | Working Fat The father of a
Working Fat The father of a friend of mine tells the story of how he almost didnÃŒt hire the man who would later become his business partner. His first impression of the man was not good because the man was fat. Now,...

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