Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?

weight discrimination at work
weight discrimination at work

No doubt about it: Record numbers of American workers are obese. By 2030, half of all American adults are expected to be obese, a new study by the Robert Wood Foundation finds. And many employers are biased against overweight workers, assuming that they're lazy or out of control. There's a correlation between obesity and unemployment.

It seems pretty clear that employers don't want to hire or promote overweight employees.

Isn't that illegal?

The answer is a big, fat maybe.

Under federal discrimination laws, weight is not a protected class, which means that, for the most part, your boss can refuse to promote you, can harass you, and can fire you due to your weight. However, there are some ways that you might be protected under the law if you are overweight.