New York City bans height, weight discrimination

New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation on Friday that would ban discrimination based on body size by adding weight and height to the list of protected categories such as race, sex and religion.

“We all deserve the same access to employment, housing and public accommodation, regardless of our appearance, and it should not matter how tall you are or how much you weigh,” said the mayor, who joined other elected officials as well as fat . -acceptance advocates in a bill-signing ceremony at City Hall.

Adams, a Democrat who published a book about reversing his diabetes through a plant-based diet, said the ordinance “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more jobs and more livable that, and be protected against discrimination.”

Exemptions under the ordinance, where the passed by the city council this month, include cases where a person’s height or weight prevents them from performing the essential functions of a job.

Some business leaders expressed opposition to the law when it was before the council, arguing that compliance would be a heavy burden.

“The extent of the impact and costs of this law have not been fully considered,” Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said in a statement.

Several other US cities have banned discrimination based on weight and physical appearance, including San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin. And laws banning weight and height discrimination have been introduced in states including New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Tigress Osborn, the chair of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, said that the ban on weight discrimination in New York City should serve as a model for the country and the world.

Osborn said the city’s adoption of the new ordinance “will change the world” and showed that “discrimination against people based on their body size is wrong and something we can change.”

The ordinance will take effect in 180 days, on Nov. 22.

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