New York mayor signs height and weight discrimination ban into law
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Friday signed into law a bill banning discrimination based on height and weight in employment, housing and public accommodations.
“No matter your height or weight, when you’re looking for a job, when you’re in our city, or trying to get some form of housing or an apartment to rent, you shouldn’t be treated any differently,” Adams said. at a signing ceremony.
The law provides an exemption where a person’s weight or height would prevent them from performing the essential requirements of a job, the mayor said. The law is expected to come into force in 180 days, on November 22.
Six other cities — including San Francisco and Washington, DC — and the state of Michigan, also have similar bans on height and weight discrimination.
Weight discrimination is widespread, but it is believed to hit women, especially women of color, the hardest. A Vanderbilt University study found that overweight women earned $5.25 less per hour, a so-called wage penalty.
“It helps level the playing field for all New Yorkers,” Adams said.
Tigress Osborn, president of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, said New York’s new law could help spur similar legislation around the world.
“We all know that New York is the global city, and it will reverberate around the world showing people everywhere that discriminating against people because of their size is wrong and that we can change,” he added. said Osborn, who led a rally earlier this year to push for the bill to become law. “We can’t legislate attitudes, but we can do everything in our power to ensure people are treated fairly,”
New York City Council member Shaun Abreu, who sponsored the legislation, said the first rallies to end height and weight discrimination took place more than 50 years ago in Central Park .
“It’s a new day in New York and I couldn’t be more grateful,” Abreu said.
In addition to wage penalties, supporters of the new law say body discrimination can sometimes prevent people from receiving life-saving medical treatment and cause mental health problems.