Apr 27, 2016 01:14 PM EDT

'Fattism' Exists in the Workplace; Employment Judges Want it Banned

"Fattism" is a form of discrimination experienced by workers who are overweight. These workers are often the target of inappropriate comments about their body size from co-workers who have "ideal" or normal bodies.

This is why one of the leading employment lawyers in the UK, Philip Rostant, has called on these workers to sue colleagues for their comments and help minimize if not eradicate "fattism" in the workplace.

Independent noted that Rostant believes that "larger people are paid less on average than their thinner colleagues." He further said that implementing laws related to how workers treat overweight people "would prevent prejudice against those of 'non-ideal weight.'" Rostant also said these overweight people usually find it harder to land jobs and are at greater risks of being fired. 

Rostant and co-author Tamara Harvey who is a professor of law, in a paper published in the Modern Law Review, narrated the difficulties faced by this group of workers. The paper is entitled "All About that Bass? Is Non-Ideal Weight Discrimination Unlawful in the UK?"

"People of non-ideal weight (overweight or severely underweight) are subjected to discrimination, in the workplace and elsewhere, based on attitudinal assumptions and negative inferences ... such as that they are insufficiently self-motivated to make good employees."

They further wrote that "[b]eing overweight, or even obese, is not in itself a prohibited ground of discrimination in UK law, or in the law of the European Union. This situation leaves a gap in the law, which is remediable only by legislative reform."

Meanwhile, in the USA, an employment discrimination law exists. The law states that "discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age" should be prevented and that discriminatory practices, including "bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, retaliation, and various types of harassment" should not be tolerated.

Furthermore, the different types of discrimination are further explained in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including the laws, regulations, policy guidance, and other information.

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