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Weight Discrimination? Colorado

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  • Weight Discrimination? Colorado

    My Regional Manger of a corporate company spoke to myself and several others at work about dressing "weight appropriate" They did not feel because of our size (slightly overweight) that we should wear tank tops or sleevless shirts because our arms were not attractive and should be covered! When I required if the skinny girls can wear them they said yes....fyi...we do not have a dress code in place....can I file with the EEOC and or a law suit?
    Last edited by ren05; 08-16-2011, 05:01 PM.

  • #2
    Das ist in der Doktor!

    Originally posted by ren05 View Post
    My Regional Manger of a corporate company spoke to myself and several others at work about dressing "weight appropriate" They did not feel because of our size (slightly overweight) that we should wear tank tops or sleevless shirts because our arms were not attractive and should be covered! When I required if the skinny girls can wear them they said yes....fyi...we do not have a dress code in place....can I file with the EEOC and or a law suit?
    I’m going to s- l- o- w- l -y tip toe into this mine field,
    because I can recognize a booby trap (no pun intended) when I see one.

    To answer you question, yes you can file with the EEOC
    What will come of it? my guess is likely nothing.
    To date, being overweight does not enjoy the same protection as do the other discriminatory classes such as race, age, sexual orientation, etc, not yet anyway.

    Can you can sue?
    You can sue anyone for anything if you have the money, including hurt feelings.
    I think you knew you were baiting your Regional Manger with that question about what skinny girls can wear, and being the insinuative clod that he/she appears to be, you should not have been surprised at the answer.
    Only an attorney can tell you if you would have a shot at winning a law suit..

    Never the less,
    The practical solution here is that a uniform dress code be established for all employees and strictly and fairly enforced.
    Good Luck!

    The doctor is backing .. s-l-o-w-l-y.. out now…

    .._______________________
    ~ Free advice is like a public defender,
    …you get what you pay for. ~ drr

    Comment


    • #3
      Weight is not a protected characteristic under Federal law; nor is it protected in any state except Michigan (the District of Columbia protects personal appearance, which includes but is not limited to weight). There are also one or two municipalities in CA which offer such protection. In some, limited circumstances, morbid obesity can be considered a disability under the ADA. That about sums up the protections provided on this issue.

      Additionally, there is no requirement anywhere that dress codes be uniform, as long as they are not separated along the lines of a protected characteristic. As we have just established, weight is not protected.

      Therefore, any attempt at a discrimination claim or a lawsuit would fail.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with cbg. My sister was flat out refused a job she was more than qualified for due to her weight. THat was the actual reason given to her for not being hired. Nothing she can do about it other than look for another position. It's sad but not illegal.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not saying this is your situation but the trend I've certainly noticed in recent years is for some larger sized girls and women to wear clothing that is way too tight and therefore unflattering and often quite revealing.

          If that happens to be the situation here, you may want to re-think the fit of your clothing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Agree with the other responders - I don't see anything illegal being done by
            your employer based on what you posted.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Beth3 View Post
              I'm not saying this is your situation but the trend I've certainly noticed in recent years is for some larger sized girls and women to wear clothing that is way too tight and therefore unflattering and often quite revealing.

              If that happens to be the situation here, you may want to re-think the fit of your clothing.
              I see your point, but this is not the case...the woman who were talked to actually dress very professional and flattering and we are talking and XL size...they wanted us to take it up a notch and stated everyone should dress more professianal....apparantly booty shorts and your tits hanging out and tank tops are all ok, but the bigger girls cannot wear anything to show their arms because its not sexy or appropriate. So tell me how that is not a form of discrimination towards very well dressed professinal woman. The slimer girls apparantly can show everything, but we are made to feel degraded!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by drruthless View Post
                I’m going to s- l- o- w- l -y tip toe into this mine field,
                because I can recognize a booby trap (no pun intended) when I see one.

                To answer you question, yes you can file with the EEOC
                What will come of it? my guess is likely nothing.
                To date, being overweight does not enjoy the same protection as do the other discriminatory classes such as race, age, sexual orientation, etc, not yet anyway.

                Can you can sue?
                You can sue anyone for anything if you have the money, including hurt feelings.
                I think you knew you were baiting your Regional Manger with that question about what skinny girls can wear, and being the insinuative clod that he/she appears to be, you should not have been surprised at the answer.
                Only an attorney can tell you if you would have a shot at winning a law suit..

                Never the less,
                The practical solution here is that a uniform dress code be established for all employees and strictly and fairly enforced.
                Good Luck!

                The doctor is backing .. s-l-o-w-l-y.. out now…

                .._______________________
                ~ Free advice is like a public defender,
                …you get what you pay for. ~ drr
                I think if one person cannot show their arms or stomach etc, then the rule should apply to everyone, so i agree....But they are also using these woman as examples at meetings in the other stores, HOW DEGRADING!! these are not obese woman simply an XL size if I must, didnt use names but store location...Their feeling degraded and as if they are being pushed out or mistreated because of this....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cbg View Post
                  Weight is not a protected characteristic under Federal law; nor is it protected in any state except Michigan (the District of Columbia protects personal appearance, which includes but is not limited to weight). There are also one or two municipalities in CA which offer such protection. In some, limited circumstances, morbid obesity can be considered a disability under the ADA. That about sums up the protections provided on this issue.

                  Additionally, there is no requirement anywhere that dress codes be uniform, as long as they are not separated along the lines of a protected characteristic. As we have just established, weight is not protected.

                  Therefore, any attempt at a discrimination claim or a lawsuit would fail.
                  I have looked into the laws regarding this matter, and true I have found nothing...I dont necessarily want to sue I want the disrespect to stop...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No one said it was not a form of discrimination. Where you are making your mistake is in assuming that all discrimination is illegal. It isn't. In fact, very little discrimination is illegal. You discriminate when you decide to have chicken for dinner instead of steak. You discriminate when you wear the green dress instead of the blue one. You discriminate when you decide to drive a Honda instead of a Chevy. But none of that is illegal discrimination.

                    Discrimination is only illegal when there is a specific law making it illegal. It IS illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, etc., because the law says that is illegal. Except as indicated in my first post, the law has NOT said that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of weight.

                    So if you and/or others are feeling degraded, your option is to find employment with a more sensitive employer.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drruthless View Post
                      I’m going to s- l- o- w- l -y tip toe into this mine field,
                      because I can recognize a booby trap (no pun intended) when I see one.

                      To answer you question, yes you can file with the EEOC
                      What will come of it? my guess is likely nothing.
                      To date, being overweight does not enjoy the same protection as do the other discriminatory classes such as race, age, sexual orientation, etc, not yet anyway.

                      Can you can sue?
                      You can sue anyone for anything if you have the money, including hurt feelings.
                      I think you knew you were baiting your Regional Manger with that question about what skinny girls can wear, and being the insinuative clod that he/she appears to be, you should not have been surprised at the answer.
                      Only an attorney can tell you if you would have a shot at winning a law suit..

                      Never the less,
                      The practical solution here is that a uniform dress code be established for all employees and strictly and fairly enforced.
                      Good Luck!

                      The doctor is backing .. s-l-o-w-l-y.. out now…

                      .._______________________
                      ~ Free advice is like a public defender,
                      …you get what you pay for. ~ drr
                      Jack *** is more like it!! I just want the disrespect to end! We were all told to dress more professional, and the woman who he spoke to have always dress appropriate and very professional, while others continue to wear tank tops booty shorts etc, they have not been told to step it up, and we were not told we look unprofessional in any way, they liked what we were wearing except we were not allowed to wear sleevless shirts anymore. One girl went to HR with this and HR did agree it was WRONG and told us we could continue to dress as we were! hmmmmmmm...what you think about that??

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As long as you and your co-workers are dressing professionally and appropriately, then I'd follow HR's direction. If the boss brings it up again, then very politely suggest he speak with HR.

                        As far as filing a complaint of discrimination with the EEOC, you'd be wasting their time and they already have a backlog of tens of thousands of claims (some legit; the majority of them without foundation.) As has been stated repeatedly in response to your question, this is not any form of prohibited discrimination and nothing illegal has transpired. The boss being rude is not illegal.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think HR offered a personal moral answer and not a legal one.

                          If you defy the Manager's instructions, you c an be terminated. Legally.

                          I'm not going to debate the relative moral nature of the decision, but simply say that it would be legal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are the coworkers who were told to cover their arms and the bootie short wearing coworkers performing the same jobs? If not, it is also routine for different positions to have different dress codes.

                            You can't force someone to respect (or not disrespect you). The most you can do if get the edict lifted but that does not mean your boss will not continue to think the way he does,

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Das ist in der Doktor!

                              Originally posted by ren05 View Post
                              Jack *** is more like it!! I just want the disrespect to end! We were all told to dress more professional, and the woman who he spoke to have always dress appropriate and very professional, while others continue to wear tank tops booty shorts etc, they have not been told to step it up, and we were not told we look unprofessional in any way, they liked what we were wearing except we were not allowed to wear sleevless shirts anymore. One girl went to HR with this and HR did agree it was WRONG and told us we could continue to dress as we were! hmmmmmmm...what you think about that??
                              I could not agree with you more,
                              and I think make a fine point.
                              While HR may say it’s wrong,
                              HR is not the one who signs your pay check
                              Are you willing to risk the consequences for disobeying
                              a member of management ?

                              As previously stated, you have no grounds for filing a grievance or a law suit.
                              The question that begs to be asked now is, do you want to win the battle or do you want to win the war ?
                              I would continue to dress appropriately, and try and not let the jerk get under your skin.
                              As it stands, your only alternatives are to seek employment elseware.
                              I'm sorry we couldn't be of more help.

                              .._________________
                              ~ Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority,
                              and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that,
                              it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. ~ unknown

                              Comment

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