Fat people may soon be able to sue for ‘weight discrimination’ in NYC

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New York Metropolis could quickly give individuals but another excuse to sue for discrimination. This time, based mostly on their bodily look.

On Thursday, the NYC Council overwhelmingly voted 44-5 to go with an invoice that might defend individuals in opposition to discrimination based mostly on their peak and weight, which some advocates have euphemistically known as “appearance-based discrimination.” Mayor Eric Adams (D) is predicted to signal the measure into law quickly.

NYC Council Member Shaun Abreu, who launched the measure, claimed that peak and weight discrimination is not completely different than different types of discrimination. “Identical to some other protected class, like race or gender or age,” he mentioned, “this shall be a brand new protected class and a declare that you would be able to convey earlier than the Fee on Human Rights.” The invoice permits exceptions when both peak or weight is a “bona fide occupational qualification” and in cases that pose a threat to public well-being or security.

“This legislation is designed to assist these the place weight has nothing to do with the important job features of a job,” Abreu defined.

Victoria Abraham — a 22-year-old “fats” activist who spoke in favor of the measure earlier than the town council — believes that this measure is critical to guard inhabitants which has a weight downside on the whole. “In most locations in the US, you may get fired for being fats and haven’t any safety in any respect, which is loopy as a result of this can be a very fats nation,” mentioned Abrahams, who describes herself as a “fats fab feminist” on social media.

“Are there gaps on this invoice? For certain,” she continued. “However I believe it is the proper first step.”

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Detractors of the invoice, corresponding to Republican Council Member Joseph Borelli, fear that the brand new measure shall be exploited by those that need to “sue anybody and every little thing.” “I am obese, however, I am not a sufferer,” Borelli asserted. He additionally joked that “nobody ought to really feel unhealthy for me besides my struggling shirt buttons.”

Ought to Adams signal the invoice, NYC will be part of at the very least 5 different main cities — Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and Urbana, Illinois — in outlawing weight-based discrimination. The state of Michigan banned such discrimination nearly 50 years in the past, and New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont are at the moment contemplating related bans as properly.

Tegan Lecheler of the Nationwide Affiliation for the Development of Fats Acceptance hopes that this development towards defending fat individuals from discrimination will proceed. “It isn’t a well-being challenge,” Lecheler claimed. “It is a civil rights challenge. That is actually about if persons are secure and guarded and have the precise to be in areas.”

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