Weight Anti-Discrimination Law?

There may be a new law in Massachusetts – similar to the one in Michigan, it would prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of height and weight – creating new protected classes.

Is this necessary?

You bet.

As I just posted this week, “beauty bias” and “lookism” in employment create drastic pay disparities and discourage equality in the workforce.

And when it comes to hiring, promotion and earnings, shorter men suffer as do subjectively “less attractive” people.

This is a worldwide phenomena – as I noted the other day, 60 percent of overweight women and 40 percent of overweight men report experiences of employment discrimination. And a study from Huazhong University of Science and Technology found that “each centimetre above the mean adds 1.5-2.2% to a woman’s salary, particularly among middle- and high-wage earners.”

Every centimeter counts, as does every pound!

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Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]