New York City Mayor Signs Weight and Height Discrimination Ban
New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed into law Friday a law that would ban size discrimination, adding weight and height to a list of protected categories such as race, gender and religion.
“We all deserve the same access to work, housing and public spaces, no matter how we look, and it shouldn’t matter how tall or how much you weigh,” said the mayor, who joined other elected officials as well as thick – supporters of the adoption at the signing ceremony of the bill in the mayor’s office.
Adams, a Democrat who has published a book on treating diabetes with a plant-based diet, said the ruling “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive jobs and lives, and protect against discrimination.”
Exceptions, under a ruling the city council passed this month, include cases where a person’s height or weight could prevent them from performing essential job functions.
Some business leaders expressed opposition to the law when it was before the board, arguing that it could become an onerous burden to enforce.
“The scale of the impact and the cost of this legislation have not been fully considered,” Cathy Wilde, president and chief executive officer of the New York Partnership, said in a statement.
A number of other US cities prohibit discrimination based on weight and appearance, including San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin. Legislation against discrimination based on weight and height has been passed in states including New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Tigress Osborne, chairman of the National Obesity Association, said New York’s ban on weight discrimination should serve as a model for the nation and the world.
Osborne said that the city’s adoption of the new ordinance “will be global” and will show that “discriminating people based on body size is wrong and what we can change.”
The resolution will enter into force in 180 days, on November 22.
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