New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed legislation Friday that would ban discrimination based on body size by adding weight and height to the list of protected categories like race, gender and religion.
“We all deserve equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations, regardless of our appearance, and it doesn’t matter how tall you are or how much you weigh,” the mayor said. -Advocate acceptance at a City Hall bill-signing ceremony.
Adams, a Democrat who published a book about reversing his diabetes through a plant-based diet, said the ordinance “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, creating a more inclusive workplace and living environment.” Create an environment of equality, and protect against discrimination.”
Exemptions under the ordinance, which the city council passed this month, include cases in which a person’s height or weight may prevent them from performing the essential functions of a job.
Some business leaders expressed opposition to the legislation before the council, arguing that compliance could become an onerous burden.
“The extent of the impact and cost of this legislation has not been fully considered,” Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the New York City Partnership, said in a statement.
Several other US cities, including San Francisco, Washington, DC and Madison, Wisconsin, have banned discrimination based on weight and physical appearance. And states including New Jersey and Massachusetts have introduced legislation banning weight and height discrimination.
Tigress Osborne, president of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, said New York City’s weight discrimination ban should serve as a model for the country and the world.
Osborne said the city’s adoption of the new ordinance would “make waves around the world” and show that “discriminating against people based on their body size is wrong and it’s something we can change.”
The ordinance will come into effect in 180 days from November 22.