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Will Diet for Work: Employment Law Attorneys Look at How Obesity is Becoming a Legal Issue for Job Seekers

July 17, 2016

 

Discrimination in the workforce is not a new concept.  As a result of previous unfair prejudice, there are now laws in place to try to prevent discrimination based on factors such as age, race or gender.

 

However, with a population that is becoming increasing obese and with the rising cost of healthcare, employment law attorneys have noticed a new trend – discrimination based on weight.  If you believe you have been fired because of your weight there are Utah lawyers that can help.  Attorneys can also help if you have been denied employment, despite being qualified, based solely on your weight.

 

Most discrimination in the workforce is done under the guise of poor performance or under qualification, but some employers have been bolder in their discriminatory practices.  In a recent article, Business Management Daily reported that a Texas hospital came under fire when it stopped hiring applicants with a body mass index of 35 or higher.  Bad publicity forced the hospital to change it policy.

 

The article also reported that a Yale study found that overweight women are twice as likely to face discrimination than overweight men. If you believe an employer is treating you unfairly based on your weight, employment law attorneys are available to assist in filing a claim.

 

Discrimination based on weight does not appear to be a problem that is going away any time soon.  Obesity is on the rise, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that nearly 36 percent of the U.S. population is obese.

 

If you are an employer, the safest thing to do is ignore an applicant’s weight unless it will prevent them from performing the essential purpose of the position.  A law firm can help if you have been charged with discrimination.

Shumway Van & Hansen

www.shumwayvan.com

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