Debate: Do employers have the right to discriminate based on weight?
Several employers have recently come under fire for the extra attention they’ve been paying to their employees weight. Ryanair, a
Several employers have recently come under fire for the extra attention they’ve been paying to their employees weight.
Ryanair, a low-cost Irish airline, has been making headlines for what could be it’s most controversial attempt to cut costs (the airline previously considered asking passengers to pay for use of the washroom during flights).
New York Daily News reports that in an effort to lighten fuel costs, Ryanair has requested flight attendants lose a bit of weight. As an incentive to slim down, the airline is offering female flight attendants the chance to appear in its annual ‘Girls of Ryanair’ calendar.
And Ryanair’s issue with weight isn’t limited to its employees. The airline also supports asking heavier passengers to pay a "fat tax."
On a similar note, Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, Texas quietly instituted a hiring policy last year requiring potential employees to have a BMI of less than 35 (via Jezebel). Employees appearances should also fit with what patients think doctors and nurses should look like’as in physically fit, with no distracting piercings or tattoos.
While Ryanair’s request that employees lose weight is in an effort to cut costs, Citizens Medical Center’s hiring policy is not. Is it possible they’re looking to better serve patients by ensuring that their employees not only provide health care but also practise the advice they preach?
What do you think? Do employers have the right to choose employees based on weight?