Brooklyn Man Sues Former Employer for Weight Discrimination
(NEW YORK) -- A Brooklyn man has sued his former employer for firing him because of his weight, court documents show.
A lawsuit, filed June 19 in the Kings County Supreme Court, maintains that Jerry Greenberg, the owner of the art framing store Frame it in Brooklyn Inc., withdrew an offer of employment to Seth Bogdanove because he was too overweight.
Bogdanove worked at Frame it in Brooklyn from 1994 to 2008, according to court documents. He told ABC News that he did not want to discuss why he left the store, but emphasized that his decision had nothing to do with medical issues.
After he left, he took adult education classes at the School of Visual Arts and opened a digital archiving and restoration service in 2009, Bogdanove said.
In December 2012, Greenberg e-mailed Bogdanove and asked him to return, Bogdanove said. He added that he agreed and was set to start in January 2013.
But when he arrived at Frame it in Brooklyn, he said, Greenberg told him he was no longer welcome.
According to the court documents, Greenberg allegedly told Bogdanove, “Oh, my god, what happened to you, you got so fat!”
Bogdanove repeated that same allegation in an interview with ABC News. He said Greenberg handed him $5 to reimburse him for transportation costs and has not spoken to him since.
According to the lawsuit, Bogdanove suffers from obesity partially because of medications he has to take. He told ABC News that he had the medical conditions for seven years while he worked with Greenberg. He was obese when he left in 2008, but subsequently put on approximately 70 pounds.
“I decided to sue him because he told me I was too fat to work for him and it hurt my feelings and made me feel like less of a person,” said Bogdanove.
Bogdanove’s lawyer, Noah Kinigstein, would not comment other than to provide a copy of the lawsuit.
Greenberg could not be reached for comment, despite repeated phone calls to his store. He told the New York Daily News that he had considered giving Bogdanove freelance work but he looked ill when he showed up.
Bogdanove denied looking ill.
“I had no problem going up the stairs, nor was I sweating,” he said.
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