The number of obese people has skyrocketed in recent years, which has focused some lawmakers on discrimination against obese people, including in employment. Some jurisdictions have enacted laws against this type of employment discrimination. In Legal Largesse or Big, Fat Failure: Do Weight Discrimination Laws Improve Employment Outcomes of the Obese?, Jennifer Shinall looks at whether these laws have been effective. Here is the abstract:
Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last two decades, and yet obese individuals continue to experience both wage and employment penalties in the labor market. This paper conducts the first in-depth review of the ten local and state laws protecting obese workers across the United States. After reviewing the legislative history, enforcement procedures, and remedies available under each law, I use empirical methods to assess each law’s efficacy in improving labor market outcomes of the obese. From this analysis, I conclude that the laws in two cities — Madison, Wisconsin and Urbana, Illinois — have been the most effective because they provide discrimination victims with swift, low-cost access to justice.