NYC Passes Bill Banning Weight Discrimination

Image copyright: Getty Images [via The Guardian]

The Facts

  • On Thursday, the New York City Council approved a bill making it illegal to discriminate against weight and height in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

  • The bill adds weight and height to the list of characteristics protected from discrimination under New York's human rights law, including race, gender, age, religion, and sexual orientation.

The Spin

Left narrative

This bill sends a message that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and that there's a legal remedy for size prejudice. Weight discrimination is not a health issue; it's a civil rights issue, which is why the bill comes as a breather for more than 40% of American adults who are openly ridiculed, denied jobs and promotions they deserve, and experience stigma, uncertainty, and distress for being short and obese.

Right narrative

While nobody should be persecuted for their size, anti-discrimination law is intended to protect those with immutable characteristics, not to trump at-will employment. Weight discrimination is hard to prove, and so, if enacted, the measure would empower anyone to take legal action, even if they're not victims. As its enforcement would ultimately be left to the courts, the bill places an unwanted burden on employers, regulators, and the judicial system.

Metaculus Prediction

Political split



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