New York City proposes new law that would ban hiring discrimination based on obesity
A law being considered by the New York City Council would add height and weight to the list of protected classes to its human rights law.
The legislation, which New York City Mayor Eric Adams has indicated he will support, has thirty-three co-sponsors. Only twenty-six “yes” votes are needed to pass the bill.
The bill’s sponsor, councilman Shaun Abreu, told the Washington Post that obesity is a civil rights issue.
“This was long overdue as a civil rights issue,” he wrote.
“It’s super important that we treat everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve. At the end of the day, this is about job security, this is about housing security. If someone looks a certain way, if someone is of a different body size or has higher weight, who cares?” he continued.
Over half of young adults in the United States are overweight, according to a Johns Hopkins University study published in 2021.
New York City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli, R., slammed the legislation in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“We shouldn’t be in the business of creating protected classes for unhealthiness,” Borelli said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity costs the U.S. healthcare system almost $173 billion per year.
People who are obese are at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and various other health issues.
Some research indicates that obesity is not merely destructive in one’s personal life, but also professionally.
“[O]besity adversely affects workplace costs by decreasing worker productivity and increasing the need for support services and disability management,” a 2011 Oxford study found.