Discrimination of any kind should not be acceptable in the workplace. However, weight discrimination may often be hard to pinpoint. If an employer or co-worker ever manages to go too far, workers need to understand what to do. Weight discrimination could occur at any time, but discrimination based on weight is not illegal in New Jersey. Many workers in America are overweight or obese, and weight discrimination could occur simply because a majority of people in the workplace could be overweight. Workers need to understand when weight discrimination is no longer allowed. Documenting weight discrimination can help employees understand what to look for in managers or executives, and this documentation can also be used when weight discrimination suddenly violates federal law.
What If My Weight Gain is Due to a Disability?
Weight gain may be a factor in a disability that the employer is unaware of. When this is the case, the employer is violating federal laws governing disability discrimination. Someone who is confined to a wheelchair may gain weight because they cannot remain active, or the disorder that has disabled them has caused their weight gain. Regardless, if the at-fault party knew of the condition, they are violating the law.
What If My Weight Gain Occurred Because of Medical Treatment?
Employees who are diagnosed with a medical condition might experience weight gain when they begin treatment or take medication. A disorder such as Crohn’s Disease may be treated with corticosteroids, which causes weight gain. If an employee worked while they were under treatment and their employer subsequently began to discriminate based on the employee’s weight, that discrimination is now illegal. Sometimes, the condition that is being treated is a disability that is protected.
What If Weight Discrimination in My Office Targets a Certain Group?
Weight discrimination might only target a certain group of people. When a business owner or manager broadly discriminates against a protected group of people, their weight discrimination is illegal. For example, an office manager might claim that they never want pregnant women at the front desk because it is not attractive. The manager is attacking both weight gain and pregnancy, and this type of discrimination is illegal. The same could be true if a manager believes all the people in the office of a certain faith tend to be overweight. In short, weight discrimination cannot adversely impact:
- National origin
- Genetic information
- Blood type
What If I Experience Weight Discrimination at Work?
If an employee experiences weight discrimination at work, and they are directly tied to a protected class, they should contact an experienced employment lawyer right away. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects workers of a protected class, and a lawyer can determine the next best steps for an employee based on this law.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Help Victims of Weight Discrimination in the Workplace
Speak to the South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC if you suffered from illegal discrimination because of your weight. Call us today at 856-235-7075 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.