- Weight is not clearly defined in the bill.
- Since weight is not an immutable characteristic, it is not "worthy of protected status on par with an individual's race or sex."
- Enactment of the weighty bill "would divert scarce state resources from serious issues."
- "A basic tenet of American law has been that businesses have had the freedom to choose employees and those with whom they wish to deal."
- "The burden this proposed legislation would put on employers, landlords, and others in commerce, would be substantial. It is no answer to state that a defendant who can establish that discrimination did not occur will be exonerated by the court system. Defense costs in discrimination cases are astronomical, win or lose."
- People who truly suffer a weight disability -- if their obesity "has a physical cause" and "limits their life activities" -- are already protected by disability laws, and can seek accommodations.
- There is no proven discrimination against this (however loosely defined) class of people.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
In a Boston Globe op-ed today, "Jumping the gun on weight discrimination," the authors (both employment lawyers) worry about a bill now in the Mass. legislature which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of weight. Their concerns over a new protected class of people based on "weight" apply equally to a class defined by "sexual orientation", or "gender identity and expression"! They point out: