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Monday, July 25, 2022

NJ Sex Discrimination Attorney, Female Employee Not Promoted, Employer Discriminates Against Weight, Bills Introduced to Prohibit Weight and Height Discrimination

For NJ employees who experience discrimination on the job because of their weight, relief is hopefully in sight with the introduction of legislature bills that would make discrimination based on an employee’s height or weight illegal, except in those extremely rare instances where a certain weight or height is a bona fide occupational qualification. Weight discrimination disproportionately affects women. It’s no secret that individuals, usually women, are too frequently discriminated against in hiring and promotions because of their weight. Pressure on individuals, particularly women, to maintain certain weight appearance standards contributes to eating disorders and lifelong health issues. No person should suffer discrimination on the job because the boss does not care for the employee’s weight or height.

The current version of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) does not include weight or height as protected classes. Courts do not automatically recognize obesity as a disability, a classification that would give one protected status under the prohibition against discrimination against persons living with disabilities. New Jersey Courts have held that a worker is entitled to the protected status classification of being “disabled” under the LAD only when there is a perception of disability because of an employee’s obesity, or when a worker is disabled due to a medical condition causing the obesity.

On June 2, 2022 a bill was introduced in the NJ Senate, S2741, and referred to the Senate Labor Committee, that seeks to amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination by adding “weight” and “height” as protected classes under the discrimination statute. An identical Bill, A4282was introduced in the Assembly on June 16, 2022 and referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee.       

Under the proposed bill, prohibition against discrimination based on weight or height extends to many areas beyond employment and applies to certain others in relation to the individual, which S2741 states impart:

“The Legislature further declares its opposition to such practices of discrimination when directed against any person by reason of the...height or weight of that person or that person's family members, partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers, or customers, in order that the economic prosperity and general welfare of the inhabitants of the State may be protected and ensured.”

If Employer Applies Different Standards for Men and Women, it May Be Evidence of Sex Bias If Coupled with Other Discriminatory Acts That Are Illegal.

If your employer applies different weight physical appearance standards for men and women, it could be evidence of an entire sex discrimination employment practice if accompanied by other discriminatory acts, which are illegal.

While this proposed legislation, S2741 and A4282, is not yet the law, if you think you may be discriminated against because of your sex, gender or weight, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation. I have represented employees who suffered sex discrimination and was successful in recovering financial compensation for their emotional pain and suffering and moneys for lost wages, both for past lost wages and projected future lost wages.

The proposed legislation states in part, with added classed here emphasized in bold:

“For an employer, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, or because of the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or the nationality of any individual, or because of the refusal to submit to a genetic test or make available the results of a genetic test to an employer, or because of the height or weight of any individual, except in any circumstance in which the height or weight of an individual is a bona fide occupational qualification, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge or require to retire, unless justified by lawful considerations other than age, from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment. ”

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing persons who were discriminated against at work and was successful in recovering multiple six figure settlement moneys for them. Let me fight for you. If you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in employment law. I am successful in bringing employee lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for victims of sex, age, disability, and other discrimination.

If You Quit Your Job, You May Lose Right to Prevail in a Lawsuit

In many instances of discrimination, if you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

Let me fight for you. If you think you may have been discriminated against, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation. I accept discrimination and whistleblower cases from all over New Jersey.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law represents workers throughout the state, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Orange, East Orange, Trenton, Paterson, Montclair, Elizabeth, North Brunswick, Union, Plainfield, Lakewood, Edison and the counties of Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law has convenient locations in Southern, Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.



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