New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed into law a bill on Friday banning discrimination based on height and weight in employment, housing and public accommodations.
“When you’re looking for a job, when you’re out on the town, or when you’re looking to rent some sort of lodging or apartment, height and weight don’t matter, they shouldn’t be treated differently,” Adams said at the signing ceremony. rice field.
law The mayor said there are exemptions if a person’s weight or height prevents them from fulfilling the necessary requirements for the job. The law will come into force in 180 days, on November 22nd.
Six other cities, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the state of Michigan, also prohibit discrimination based on height and weight.
While weight discrimination is widespread, it reportedly hits women hardest, especially women of color. A study by Vanderbilt University found that overweight women earned $5.25 less an hour, a so-called wage penalty.
“This helps level the playing field for all New Yorkers,” Adams said.
Tigress Osborne, president of the National Association for the Promotion of Fat Acceptance, said New York City’s new law could prompt similar legislation around the world.
“We all know New York is a world city, and we are doing this in the sense that it shows the world that discrimination against people based on body size is wrong and something that can be changed. It will have ripple effects all over the world,” said Osborne, who led a rally earlier this year to push for the bill to be passed. “We can’t legislate attitudes, but we can do whatever we can to ensure that people are treated equally.”
New York City Councilman Sean Abbrew, who proposed the bill, said the first rally to end height and weight discrimination was held in Central Park more than 50 years ago.
“Today is a new day in New York City and I couldn’t be more grateful,” Abreu said.
In addition to wage penalties, proponents of the new law argue that physical discrimination can sometimes deny life-saving treatment and cause mental health problems.