New York City has joined other cities and states in putting a stop to height and weight discrimination. Mayor Eric Adams signed new legislation that will give all New Yorkers access to jobs and resources regardless of their body size.
“No one should ever be discriminated against based on their height and weight. We all deserve the same access to employment, housing, and public accommodations, regardless of our appearance,” said Mayor Adams. The bill, which was signed on May 26, goes into effect on Nov. 22.
“It shouldn’t matter how tall you are or how much you weigh when you’re looking for a job, are out on the town, or trying to rent an apartment. This law will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive workplaces and living environments, and protect against discrimination,” continued Adams.
An exemption to the law applies to employers who require individuals to meet certain height and weight criteria to perform essential job requirements. “This bill would similarly permit consideration of height or weight by operators or providers of public accommodations,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Co-sponsored by Councilmember Shaun Abreu, the legislation serves as a legal statute that body positivity activists first pushed for 50 years ago in NYC.
“While it took way too long to enact something so basic and widely supported, it is only fitting that the most diverse New York City Council in history is the one to enshrine this anti-discrimination principle into law, in the very city where this movement began,” said Abreu. The District 7 representative added, “Size discrimination is a social justice issue and a public health threat. People with different body types are denied access to job opportunities and equal wages — and they have had no legal recourse to contest it. Worse yet, millions are taught to hate their bodies.”
Cities such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and states including Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have passed similar anti-discrimination laws.
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