Two New York City Councilmen want to make on-the-job fat-shaming a thing of the past with a new bill that aims to prohibit weight and height-based discrimination in the workplace.
The bill, which Councilmen Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Danny Dromm (D-Queens) introduced Thursday, would make it illegal for employers to base hiring decisions on weight or height. Landlords and property owners leasing or selling property would be held to similar standards.
“It’s time for New York City to join the dozens of other localities that have taken action to make weight and height-based discrimination unlawful, leading to lower rates of bias and stigma and an increased ability for all New Yorkers to live safe and fulfilling lives,” Lander, the bill’s prime sponsor, said in a written statement.
Similar laws have been in effect in Michigan, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Buffalo for years.
The new Council bill has its roots in those laws and a survey conducted by Lydia Green, who lives in Lander’s Park Slope Council district. In it, overweight respondents told Green they faced discrimination in school, doctors’ offices and on public transit.
“The idea for a weight discrimination bill came from my own experiences of being mistreated and dehumanized due to my weight and the similar stories I’ve heard my whole life from friends and family,” she said. “People of size face discrimination, harassment and bullying in almost every aspect of life.”