Weight discrimination in the workplace is frequent, but you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s totally legal. Michigan is currently the only state that prohibits discrimination based on weight, while every other state provides no legal protections. Although there are nationwide provisions against discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religion, if your boss wants to fire you because of your weight, there are no federal laws to stop it.
Women pay a higher cost because of weight discrimination than men. Research by UCONN’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that obese men earn on average three percent less than their slim counterparts, while obese women pay nearly double. Even being as little as 13 pounds overweight resulted in a $9,000 loss per year.
Why are women disproportionately punished for their weight? In this week’s episode of Divided States of Women, we take a look at how a culture obsessed with women’s bodies costs women much more than just their self-esteem.