Weight
Discrimination Laws

Laws in Place

  • Michigan is the only State with law prohibiting discrimination against overweight peopleEnacted in 1977. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination practices based on 10 categories, including weight.
Cities
  • Washington, DC: the Human Rights Law includes “personal appearance” in its protected categories.
  • San Francisco, CA: the Human Rights Commission added “weight and height” to the municipal code to ensure that pro-grams, services, and facilities would be accessible.
  • Santa Cruz, CA: the municipal code on discrimination includes “height, weight, or physical characteristics” as protected categories.
  • Binghamton, NY: the municipal code on discrimination includes “height, weight, or physical characteristics” as protected categories.
  • Urbana, IL: the municipal code on discrimination includes “height, weight, or physical characteristics” as protected categories.
  • Madison, WI: the municipal code on discrimination includes “height, weight, or physical characteristics” as protected categories.

Legislation Awaiting Action

  • Three bills that would protect overweight people from discrimination have been introduced in Israel's Knesset. One bill, an amendment to the Prohibition of Discrimination in Goods or Services Law, would prohibit denying commercial services to someone on the basis of their weight. An amendment to the Defamation Law would empower overweight people to sue those who insult or exclude them because of their weight. Another amendment, to the Equality and Opportunity in Work Law, would add weight to the list of items that may not be used to discriminate against potential employees. [Source: Israel National News, 2016]
  • Efforts are being made in Toronto to add size discrimination to the Ontario (Canada) human rights code. [Source The Establishment, 2016]