Being Discriminated at Work Because of Your Weight? NYC Weight Discrimination Lawyers Can Help

Today, nearly 40 percent of American adults are considered to be obese. Despite how common obesity is in today’s world, however, overweight and obese individuals are often discriminated against because of their size. When such discrimination occurs in the workplace, employers may be violating a number of laws – and obese employees may be entitled to compensation. Although the state of New York has not yet applied current discrimination laws to obesity, a number of landmark cases have shown that employers should not be permitted to discriminate against employees because of their size. If you feel like you have been treated unfairly at work because you are overweight or obese, the weight discrimination lawyers of Leeds Brown Law may be able to help.

Is Obesity a Disability?

The main sticking point that has prevented discrimination laws to extend to people who are overweight or obese largely has to do with whether such a condition constitutes a disability. A broader interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008, or ADAA, suggests that severe and morbid obesity should be treated as qualified disabilities. However, there must be a qualifying underlying physiological cause for this to apply.

Thus far, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has not been amended to include obesity as a protected class, but that doesn’t mean that you are out of luck if you are being discriminated against at work because of your size. In EEOC v. Resources for Human Development, Inc., for example, the courts recognized severe and morbid obesity as disabilities. The plaintiff in the case was perceived by their employee as being severely limited with regards to performing basic life activities despite strong evidence of having been able to perform their job for many years. The court ruled that the employee had been discriminated against based on prejudices and stereotypes regarding weight.

Examples of Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

If you are overweight or obese and believe that you are being treated differently or unfairly at work because of it, you may have rights under the law. Examples of weight discrimination in action in the workplace include:

  • Not being promoted to a position due to perceptions regarding your capabilities as an obese individual
  • Having your capabilities questioned because of your size, which is a definite sign of weight bias in the workplace
  • Hitting a “glass ceiling” with regards to pay as an obese individual despite seeing slimmer coworkers in similar positions enjoying raises
  • Noticing that there doesn’t seem to be any “heavy” people in upper management at your organization

Weight Discrimination in the Workplace: A Developing Area of Law

Just because there are currently no laws on the books that explicitly prohibit discrimination in the workplace because of weight or size doesn’t mean that you have no options if this is happening to you. As case law shows, numerous individuals have successfully filed lawsuits against their employers after being discriminated against because of their weight. When pursuing a lawsuit against an employer because of weight discrimination, therefore, it is crucial to enlist the help of employment discrimination lawyers who have experience handling weight discrimination cases. In metro NYC, Leeds Brown Law has you covered.

Call Today to Protect Your Rights

With more than three decades of experience in the area of employment law, Leeds Brown Law is uniquely qualified to assist you with your claim regarding weight discrimination in the workplace. We offer extended office hours and Spanish translation services for your convenience, and we also offer a variety of fee options – including, in some cases, full contingency – to provide the flexibility that you need. From our offices in NYC and Nassau County, we serve clients across Manhattan; Brooklyn; Staten Island; the Bronx; Queens; Westchester County; Nassau County; and Suffolk County. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with our experienced weight discrimination attorneys.

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