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Overweight women are being targeted in the workplace

Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are not just illegal. They are also degrading, aggressive and demeaning practices which must be addressed as soon as they surface. Unfortunately for many different kinds of employees, the level of these behaviors can contribute to what is legally characterized as a hostile work environment.

A recent study indicates that a certain class of workers is being subjected to a higher risk of illegally hostile work environments, harassment and discrimination than their peers. Recently published in the International Journal of Obesity, the study has determined that prejudice against overweight and obese women is becoming a significant workplace challenge.

Specifically, the authors of the study emphasize that obese women are at higher risk of wage discrimination, hiring discrimination and lack of promotional opportunities.

This study echoes a 2011 study conducted in Iceland, which indicates that women who are not overweight are more likely to be gainfully employed than overweight women. The 2011 study determined that overweight men do not face the same prejudices that their female peers do.

Seeking redress for harassment, discrimination or a hostile work environment as an overweight female can be challenging. Many women are hesitant to admit that they perceive that they are being passed over for a job, a promotion, a salary increase or are being otherwise targeted due to their size and gender.

However, the law protects employees from these kinds of practices and environments for sound reasons. Every responsible employee deserves to be treated with respect and consideration.

Source:, "Study Finds Overweight Women Face Employment Discrimination," May 1, 2012

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