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Weight a factor in employment decisions

In a recent HRinfodesk poll, we asked our readers if a person’s weight had ever influenced their decision on whether to hire, promote or reward the person. The reason I was so interested in the topic is that a Quebec lawyer recently sued her former law firm because she believes the firm discriminated against her in employment because she was overweight.

 

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Should employers be involved in helping employees deal with obesity?

Is it an invasion of privacy for employers to get involved in the process of helping employees lose extra weight so they can be healthier? Should it be mandatory for employers from a health and safety perspective to require some type of fitness and nutrition management program in the workplace? Could an increase in education regarding fitness and nutrition lead to improved employee health and consequently improved productivity in the workplace? Could the pressure to lose weight affect employees’ self-esteem in a negative way? Is it unfair for employers to put pressure on employees to lose weight? Is it discriminatory under human rights legislation to require someone to increase their general health?

 

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