Mayor Adams signs a law prohibiting discrimination based on height or weight in employment, housing and

May 26, 2023

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NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed Intro today. 209-A, which will prohibit discrimination based on a person’s height or weight in employment, housing and public facilities.

“No one should ever be discriminated against because of their height and weight. We all deserve the same access to jobs, housing and public accommodations, regardless of how we look,” said Mayor Adams. “It doesn’t matter how tall or heavy you are when you’re looking for a job, in town, or trying to rent an apartment. This law will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive workplaces and living environments, and protect against discrimination. I would like to thank Council Member Shaun Abreu for introducing this bill, and Chairman Adams and Council Member Nantasha Williams for their support of the bill.

“The Commission is dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of individuals and groups who have been discriminated against because of their identity or identity,” said Annabel Palma, Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. “Most forms of discrimination based on appearance persisted unchecked. New York City human rights law now clearly states that no one should be denied an opportunity based on height or weight in employment, housing, and public accommodations. As we have done for decades, the Commission looks forward to working with all stakeholders to cultivate an equitable city for all.

Introduction. 209-A – sponsored by New York City Council member Shaun Abreau – will prohibit discrimination based on a person’s height or weight in employment, housing and public housing. This law will also create an exemption for employers who must consider height or weight in employment decisions only when required by federal, state, or local laws or regulations or when authorized by the Human Rights Commission. such considerations because height or weight may prevent a person from fulfilling the essential requirements of a job and no alternative is available or such criterion is reasonably necessary for the normal operation of the business.

Similarly, this bill would allow for consideration of height or weight by public housing operators or providers. Entities covered by this law would have an affirmative defense that their actions based on a person’s height or weight were reasonably necessary for normal operations.

“Size discrimination is a social justice issue and a public health threat. People with different body types are denied access to job opportunities and equal pay – and they have had no legal recourse to challenge it. Worse still, millions of people are learning to hate their bodies. As a global beacon of tolerance, it is fitting that New York City leads the national effort to end size discrimination with the signing of this law today,” said Shaun Abreu, Member of the New York City Council. “More than fifty years ago, hundreds of body positivity activists gathered in Central Park to protest the daily injustices faced by heavier people. While it’s taken far too long to enact something so fundamental and widely supported, it’s only fitting that the most diverse New York City Council in history is the one that enshrines this anti-discrimination principle in the law, in the very city where this movement began. . I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the people who shared their stories of handling this silent burden, the organizations that helped lead this campaign, and all of the advocates who helped bring it across the finish line.

“RWDSU supports an end to all forms of discrimination in the workplace,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “Mayor Adams has just taken a big step towards that goal by signing into law a law banning height and weight discrimination in the workplace. This law will change the lives of countless workers for the better. As a union representing thousands of workers in the fashion industry, we are acutely aware of the impact of size discrimination on workers’ employment opportunities, as well as their earning potential and employment opportunities. career advancement. Workers come in all shapes and sizes and that’s a good thing. We are pleased to have worked in partnership with Council Member Abreu, NAAFA and the Retail Action Project to pass this bill. Each New Yorkers deserve the right to a workplace free from all forms of prejudice and discrimination.”

“This is such a powerful moment for anyone who has ever been discriminated against simply because of their body size,” said Tigress Osborn, president of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA); co-founder, Campaign for Size Freedom. “When the mayor of one of the world’s most iconic cities agrees that height discrimination is unacceptable, it sends a message to leaders across the country and around the world: to create equal opportunities and accessible communities for people of all sizes should be a priority.”

“Thank you, Mayor Adams, for standing up against size discrimination and signing the bill to ban it,” said Eno Awotoye, Coordinator, Retail Action Project (RAP). “This is a huge win for workers in New York because workers will no longer be forced to fit a mold in order to earn a living. New York City workers can now seek job opportunities and seek advancement without fear of being shut out because of size. It’s a new day for workers in New York — it’s about skills and experience, not size!”

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