- Workplace discriminations articles and lawsuits are commonplace these days, but little is reported on the challenges overweight workers face, according to Bloomberg BNA.
- The article cites research that found overweight workers are more often than not paid less than similarly qualified, thinner colleagues. In some cases, they are passed over completely as part of a candidate pool.
- According to the legal experts, weight discrimination – which is fairly ignored in the U.S. – springs from "unfounded negative stereotypes about the overweight," mainly traits such as "lazy, sloppy and incompetent, with no self-control in any area of their lives."
Bloomberg BNA's article explores the findings of Camille Monahan, Tanya Goldman and Debra Oswald (two EEOC attorneys and a college professor), who published an article on the problem in a past issue of The ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law.
In that case, study participants rated fake job seekers equals (resumes were basically the same) unless applicants were overweight, in which case the participants said people from that group should receive lower starting salaries. A different article focused on the common notion that people cause their own weight problems, but this "simplistic ideology" doesn’t take into account the "fact that not all humans are shaped the same way," according to author Jake Blumgart.
So far, efforts across the board (legislative, legal, regulatory, etc.) to combat this trend have not made much headway. HR leaders working with recruiters should consider this when trying to bring in new talent.