Hospital Won't Hire Obese Workers
- 0Apr 11, '12 by chevyvhttp://www.texastribune.org/texas-he...obese-workers/
I'm not sure this link will take you to the article, but I read it this morning and couldn't believe my eyes! Seems a few lawsuits will be coming their way along with the race discrimination one in place already. What do you all think about it?
- 12Apr 11, '12 by wish_me_luckI read this on CNN, I believe it was. The cut off was a BMI of 35 and they offered to help the workers lose weight. I don't know if you guys realize this but a BMI of 35 is severely obese. Yes, I know BMI does not take into account muscle; but come one, how many nurses are ripped like a professional athlete? Like I said, this is not "oh you're a little pudgy or slightly heavy and you are instantly going to lose your job", this is they are very heavy and they refused the help to lose weight.
That's my opinion...I think people really take stuff out of context. *shrugs*Last edit by wish_me_luck on Apr 11, '12 : Reason: wording
- 11Apr 11, '12 by Ashley, PICU RNI don't think it's illegal to refuse to hire employees who are overweight. The Constitution only protects from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, and age. Obesity is not a protected category.
I'm not really surprised that this is starting to happen. It's the same debate that occurs over hospitals refusing to hire smokers. It's less healthy, employees have more absences, higher health insurance costs, poor reflection of the hospital. A BMI of 35 is also very high. Healthy is 18.5-25. Even the professional athlete example referenced in the article would still qualify for employment.
I also think that there might be something to the fact that employees who are severely overweight are physically less able to perform the same duties as someone who is not overweight. Although this generalization shouldn't be applied to all workers, but on a case by case basis. But it's often easier for the hospital to say they aren't going to hire anyone who is overweight, rather than taking the time to evaluate each employee. Just like not all smokers have health problems, but some do. Of course, employees that are not overweight and don't smoke can have health problems as well.
I don't think it's a good idea for businesses to start making stereotypical policies, but let's face it- it's been going on behind the scenes for years.
- 6Apr 11, '12 by chevyvThere are a few states that have a weight discrimmination on the books. Madison WI is one of them.
They may support their employees who want to lose weight, but they will not hire you if you happen to be obese. How long do they support their obese workers already there before getting rid of them? If a place says we won't hire someone with a BMI over 35, whats to say another wont hire you with a BMI over 27? I guess I'm wondering where it ends. I'm short, will I not be able to be hired because I'm not over 5'4"? I know that's pulling something way out of left field but I'm just wondering where the line gets drawn and who decides where it's drawn?
I agree that it is not a protected category unless it falls under ADA.....hmmmm
- 6Apr 11, '12 by wish_me_luckI don't know where the line gets drawn honestly. I just know from my perspective, I am very into public health and it's what I want to do. I am young and so naturally, my metabolism is higher; but other than my personal health and well being, I strive to maintain a decent weight because if I am educating patients on healthy lifestyles, I feel like I can't be overweight. It's the pot calling the kettle black.
- 2Apr 11, '12 by HouTx GuideAs a not-svelte person, my first reaction to this announcement was negative. However, it is perfectly legal. FLSA regulations allow an employer to use any "bona fide occupational qualifications" (BOQs) to determine job eligibility. Functional job requirements are always spelled out as part of the job description. Functional requirements of bedside nursing jobs include lifting, walking, bending, standing, etc..... and these are simply not possible with a very high BMI. As long as the requirements are tied to BOQs and applied to everyone who is hired - it doesn't seem to violate FLSA.
On a personal note whenever I have had to pick up the slack for co-workers who couldn't (or wouldn't) perform some tasks it felt OK when the cause was associated with something of a limited duration (ex: stumping along on a walking cast) but much less tolerable if there was no end in sight. It created resentment and poor morale on the part of those left with the extra work.
It is interesting that this is being associated with race discrimination. Victoria is only 90 miles away from Houston - which is the most diverse city in the US according to the latest census data.