Old Saybrook, CT (PRWEB) June 2, 2005
Dropping a few pounds might be the best thing an overweight person can do to help improve their chances of landing a good job. At least thatÂs what the results of an online poll at HR.BLR.com, a website for human resource professionals, suggest.
The poll asked HR managers, ÂHas someone's weight ever influenced your decision on whether to hire him or her?Â The responses broke down this way:
Yes Â 25%
Maybe unconsciously Â 35%
No Â 40%
The poll, conducted May 12-19, drew 552 participants.
ÂWhile federal law bars discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, age, race, or national origin, it does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of physical appearance, such as weight,Â observed Susan Prince, managing editor at Business & Legal Reports, which operates HR.BLR.com. ÂSome workers and applicants who believe theyÂve been unjustly treated for being overweight have sought protection under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but the courts have generally ruled that obesity does not meet the ADAÂs definition of a disability.Â
Nevertheless, Prince added, at least one state and a couple of municipalities have their own laws prohibiting weight discrimination or discrimination on the basis of appearance, so employers need to be cognizant of them.
Prince also speculated that employers might be avoiding overweight applicants because of obesityÂs negative impact on health insurance costs. She stressed, however, that those who participated in this poll werenÂt asked about that.
HR.BLR.com, ÂState HR Answers and Tools Online,Â provides subscribers with plain-English analysis of the workplace laws in all 50 states. And for HR professionals who need to know what the ADA does cover, BLR offers a free download, ÂManaging Disabilities in the WorkplaceÂ: http://www.blr.com/82008400/PRS17
Old Saybrook, Conn.-based BLR produces plain-English compliance and training resources for HR, compensation, safety, and environmental managers. For more information and a free catalog, call 800-727-5257 or visit http://www.BLR.com.
HR.BLR.com Managing Web Editor Kevin Flood
860 510-0100 x 2283
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