Joining a handful of other cities,* the New York City Council passed a bill that prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s height or weight. Is size discrimination the next frontier in the workplace?
Signs point to yes. Michigan and Washington have banned size discrimination in the workplace and Massachusetts and New Jersey have drafted legislation as well. Research reveals size discrimination is commonly felt by employees. In one survey, half the managers have reported that they prefer to interact with “healthy weight employees” and 11% said obese people at their workplace were treated unfairly.
These bills have carve outs for jobs that must consider height and weight as an essential function of a job. Employers can still offer weight management as part of its voluntary wellness program too.
Do you need to resize your policies or handbooks to reflect this new trend? Questions? We can help.
*Urbana, IL; Madison, WI; Binghamton, NY; San Francisco; Santa Cruz, CA: Washington, DC.