Veronica Brillon HR Consultant

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Is it okay to discriminate against Individuals who are Obese?

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Victoria Hospital within Texas reported they’ll no longer employ anybody who has a BMI (Body Mass Index) higher than 35.

Are you too fat to get hired?


Being permitted to make these types of rules is different from saying they should.They shouldn’t. Here are 5 reasons it’s a poor policy:


1)You’ll lose out on a few excellent candidates. Being a hard worker and smart does not mean you will automatically be thin.


2)BMI is really a poor predictor of health. The BMI will consider all weight the exact same, irrespective of whether you’re a couch potato or a well-muscled athlete.


3)It might be illegal. Just a couple of cities and states prohibit discrimination based upon weight, yet there’s additionally the issue of disparate impact. It’s where you possess a policy which appears neutral yet possesses a disproportionate impact upon a certain group. According to the Body Mass Index, African-American females will be more likely to be overweight. You don’t wish for a policy which ends up discriminating against a certain group, particularly one built upon shaky science.


4)What will you do as your star worker puts on extra weight? Don't think it’ll occur? Don’t be naive. As that doctor who pulls in the big bucks packs thepounds on, will you let him go? If not, be ready for a lawsuit from the ten-dollar-an-hour employee of a different gender or race.


5)It is bad PR. Wouldn't it be great if you could only operate your company outside the court of public opinion? You can't. At present, when you search ‘Victoria Hospital Texas’ on Google, 3 references to the overweight policy come up upon the front page of hits. Is this what you wish for potential employees, patients and donors to know about you?

Categories: Human Resources Strategies

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