New York City Enacts Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Weight and Height

On May 26, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams signed a bill into law expanding the list of characteristics that are protected under New York City’s discrimination laws to include a person’s weight and height.  Weight and height now join 27 other characteristics including, race, gender, age, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, marital status, immigration status, and status as a veteran or active military service member, that are already protected under New York City’s Human Rights Law.  The new protections against discrimination based on weight and height will apply in employment, housing, and access to public accommodations and will go into effect on November 22, 2023. 

The bill received overwhelming support from the New York City Council, which passed the measure 44-5 on May 11, 2023, before sending it to Mayor Adams for consideration.  Complaints regarding weight and height will be investigated by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which already investigates complaints of discrimination based on other protected characteristics.  Exceptions may apply to employers who have a “bona fide occupational” reason for considering weight and height as part of an individual’s job duties or in situations where weight and height creates a public health and/or safety concern.  For example, police officers and fire fighters must meet physical fitness requirements as part of their job criteria such as a timed run and carrying heavy weights. 

New York City joins lawmakers in Michigan and Washington State who have already prohibited weight discrimination.  New York State lawmakers are also considering enacting a law prohibiting weight discrimination across the State. 

Individuals who believe their employer has discriminated or retaliated against them based on a protected characteristic should seek legal counsel to analyze their potential claims. 

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights, call our offices today at (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330.

About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP focuses on complex civil litigation, including securities, antitrust, wage and hour and consumer class actions as well as shareholder derivative and merger and transactional litigation. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous high-profile cases which ultimately provided significant recoveries to investors, direct purchasers, consumers and employees.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and to learn more about your legal rights, call our offices today at (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330.

About Camilo Burr

Camilo Burr's practice is focused on employment litigation. Camilo is an associate in the firm's New York office.

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Associate at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

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