It's not just City Hall that's waging war against obesity; a Brooklyn man who says his medication made him balloon up to 350 pounds claims he was fired from his frame shop job for being obese. Now, he's suing his boss for discrimination.
Seth Bogdanove, 52, told the Post he'd been working at Frame It In Brooklyn in Sunset Park since 1994, but left five years ago because of health-related issues; Bognadove has Crohn's Disease, a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract. He was offered a part-time gig back at the store in December; when he showed up 150 pounds heavier than he'd been when he left, his boss, Jerry Greenberg looked at him and said, "Oh my God, what happened to you, you got so fat!" Then, according to the complaint, Greenberg gave Bogdanove the boot, claiming he "wouldn't fit between the aisles."
"I’m incredibly angry, incredibly hurt, incredibly upset," Bogdanove told the Post. "I worked for this guy for 15 years, and this is how he treats me," Bogdanove claims his medication made him gain weight, and the lawsuit notes he "is suffering from the disability of obesity."
Bogdanove, who lives in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn, is suing for benefits, compensatory damages and punitive damages for discrimination, in addition to his attorney's fees. Meanwhile, Greenberg says he'd only asked Bogdanove to work from home, and told the Post the lawsuit was "ridiculous," though he did note that Bogdanove "was sweating, and he couldn’t make it up stairs." But Bogdanove might have a case—in 2012, an obese worker in Houston received a $55,000 settlement from the Texas court after he was reportedly fired for his weight.
Update: Bogdanove contacted us to correct a few things about the Post's original report, which he says was false.
The reporter from The Post sat down with me for half an hour yesterday, I told him the story three times and HE still got it wrong. These are the facts:
1. I did not claim that I was fired for being obese. I was offered a part-times sales job via email and accepted it. Upon reporting for work, the owner of the company, a man for whom I had worked for 15 years took one look at me and said "Oh my G-d, what happened to you? You got so fat! Oh my G-d, I can't use you like this, you won't fit in the aisles!"
2. I did not tell The Post that I left my job because of health reasons. I told him I left for reasons I did not wish to discuss or have published. I did not leave my job over health issues.
3. The day I was supposed to and did report for work was January 5, 2013. I did not have trouble making it up the stairs and I certainly wasn't sweating. In fact, I not only made it up the 25 stairs from the street to his sales floor, I also made it up the stairs from the R train on 25th Street to the street.
According to the complaint, "Mr. Greenberg simply told him to leave, that he could not work there because of his obese size."