(New York) New York Mayor Eric Adams on Friday signed into law a law banning discrimination based on appearance by adding weight and height to a list of protected categories, such as race, gender and religion.
said the mayor, who joined other elected officials as well as advocates for physical diversity and acceptance, during the bill signing ceremony at City Hall.
Eric Adams, a Democrat who has published a book about treating his diabetes with a plant-based diet, said the law “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive workplaces and living spaces and prevent discrimination.”
Exemptions under the ordinance, which was passed by the city council this month, include cases where an individual’s height or weight may prevent them from performing the essential functions of the job.
Some business leaders expressed opposition to the legislation when it was before the board, arguing that compliance with the regulations could become onerous.
“The magnitude of the impact and cost of this legislation has not been fully considered,” Cathy Wild, president and CEO of the New York City Partnership, an organization of corporate CEOs, said in a news release.
Several other US cities have banned discrimination based on weight and physical appearance, including San Francisco, Washington, and Madison, Wisconsin. Legislation banning discrimination based on weight and height has also been introduced in states such as New Jersey and Massachusetts.
New York’s ban on weight discrimination should serve as a model for the nation and the world, said Tigress Osborne, president of the National Association to Promote Fat Acceptance.
MI Osborne said the city’s passage of the new law “will reverberate around the world” and show that “discriminating people because of their size is wrong and we can change it.”
The order will go into effect in 180 days, on November 22.
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