There have been undercurrents of weight discrimination in the workplace for years, but a Texas hospital decided to go anti-fat full throttle.
A Texas newspaper uncovered the story recently reporting about a fat-adverse Texas hospital — Citizens Medical Center — and it’s unheard of policy of refusing to hire anyone with a body mass index of more than 35.
The policy, according to The Texas Tribune, states:
… an employee’s physique “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional,” including an appearance “free from distraction” for hospital patients.
“The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance,” hospital chief executive David Brown said in an interview. “We have the ability as an employer to characterize our process and to have a policy that says what’s best for our business and for our patients.”
The hospital’s policy may cause outrage, but it’s an extreme example of an obesity bias that has been percolating in the nation’s workforces, starting with seemingly benign measures such as encouraging workers to walk at lunch. (more…)