Height and weight are protected classes in New York City

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Employee Rights

It’s unlawful for an employer to treat an employee or job applicant unfavorably because of their identity attributes, including but not limited to race, color, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and national origin. Height and weight have been added to the protected classes in New York City.

A survey conducted on 1,000 working Americans showed 36% of them have experienced discrimination due to their height, weight or level of attractiveness. This has significantly affected their careers and mental health. Therefore, it was vital for New York workers to be protected.

Here is what to know about this matter:

You can take action against an employer

The New York City Human Rights Law’s (NYCHRL’s) provisions that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on height and weight were signed into law by Mayor Eric Adams on May 26, 2023, and took effect on November 26, 2023.

Accordingly, you can take action against an employer who treats you unfairly because of your height and weight.

There are limited circumstances

An employer may make a decision based on height and weight without getting into trouble, provided they can prove considering these attributes was necessary. For example, a casting director may only consider applicants of a certain height or weight if the character must be of that quality.

How does discrimination based on height and weight happen?

Like any other discrimination case, it can be challenging to recognize height and weight discrimination. But a few signs can help you. An employer may directly use offensive language towards you. Further, failing to allow or consider alternative actions required by the NYCHRL to accommodate you may constitute discrimination.

Height and weight discrimination in the workplace can be subtle. If you believe you have experienced it, get legal help to protect your rights.    



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