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Combating body type discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Employment Discrimination

Body type discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably in a professional setting based on their body shape, size or weight. This can include being passed over for promotions, receiving inappropriate comments or facing unfair hiring practices.

Recognizing these actions as discriminatory is the first step in combating them.

Know your rights

Understand the laws that protect against workplace discrimination. Even though discrimination laws in Hawaii may not explicitly cover body type, broader definitions of harassment can offer protection.

Document the discrimination

Write down all incidents of unfair treatment that relate to body size. Keep emails, messages, reviews and comments with details of dates, times and witnesses. Proper documentation is necessary for reporting.

Speak up safely

Address the issue directly if it feels safe. Some people may not know their actions are hurtful. Talking directly can often clear things up. If that does not work, share concerns with a trusted supervisor or human resources.

Use internal resources

Most companies have anti-discrimination policies and resources to help. Check company policies and speak with human resources. They often provide mediation and support to resolve these issues.

Seek external support

If internal help does not fix the problem, seek external support. An employment lawyer can guide you in handling the situation legally, and local groups focused on workplace discrimination also offer advice.

Create awareness and inclusivity

Creating an inclusive workplace benefits everyone. Organize initiatives, workshops or talks to raise awareness and promote diversity. By discussing body type discrimination openly, workplaces can become more inclusive.

By taking these steps, employees can help ensure a fairer and more inclusive workplace for themselves and their colleagues.