Being overweight is not a protected characteristic but employers need to guard against anti-fat prejudice leading to other claims.
A recent study, led by the University of Manchester and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, has indicated that obese women are more likely to be discriminated against when applying for jobs and will receive lower starting salaries than their slimmer colleagues.
The lead researcher in the study, psychologist Kerry O’Brien said the findings show “there is a clear need to address obesity discrimination, particularly against females who tend to bear the brunt of anti-fat prejudice”. He said the reasons for this prejudice “appear to be related to our personalities, how we feel about ourselves”. Beliefs such as obese people being lazy or gluttonous merely acted as justifications for the prejudice.
May 17, 2012