Weight Discrimination At The Workplace

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Weight discrimination at the workplace is one of the more common job-related issues faced by overweight employees. But unfortunately, it is also one of the issues that are more likely being neglected or not addressed fully by the government. While there have been laws and rules that have been enacted to address discrimination against women, sexual orientation, physical disability or race in the workplace, it seems that there is a distinct absence of laws regarding work discrimination for those who are seen as overweight.

Weighty Issue

The stigma of obesity in the workplace have led to unequal treatment as well as prejudice for most employees who happen to suffer from the condition. Some overweight employees tell of mistreatment, ridicule and lesser job promotion opportunities in their workplace that can be attributed to their physical condition. But statistics may sometimes work against overweight employees in this case, which might also have contributed to the discrimination that they may be facing today.

The Costs Of Obesity

According to statistics obesity-related issues have began to cost companies a lot of money. Health related costs and absenteeism are statistically high for obese workers which may be an added burden that companies have to bear. But many employers have been working hard to encourage their obese employees to try and lose weight by providing incentives for lost weight as well as penalties for those who don’t.

But aside from that, it is the general perception that obese employees are slow and work less that seem to hurt them most. This perception may also be one of the reasons why some obese employees face little job advancement opportunities at the workplace. All in all, the issue may be quite challenging as well as complex to address in relative simplicity, unlike other forms of discrimination.

What Can Be Done

Despite the lack of proper laws regarding weight discrimination at the workplace, those who face such challenges may still be able to do something that would help address their position. One of those is be breaking the general perception that overweight workers are slow and do less in their jobs. Some also see overweight people as sloppy and do not take care of their appearance. Breaking these overweight stereotypes may help directly address the issue to those who continue to experience them at the workplace. Having a voice and trying to be heard can also help put this issue at their workplace into the forefront, making some companies notice that it may be becoming a problem, enough to make them address the issue and make the work environment fairer and more equal for overweight employees.
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