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Obese employees could face workplace discrimination in Texas

People at work expect to be treated with respect and judged based on the quality of their performance on the job. When other factors about an employee, such as his or her physical condition, become the focus of an employer, this can lead to workplace discrimination in Texas. A recent article describes how an employee can determine if he or she is a victim of weight discrimination in the workplace.

If an employer makes comments about a person's weight and then fires the person or prevents him or her from getting a promotion, this could be used as evidence of weight discrimination. In addition, another sign is if someone is treated differently from other co-workers who are not obese. For instance, a thin employee getting away with something that a larger employee gets in trouble for can be proof of discrimination.

It may be interesting to note that an employee who needs a stronger chair or wider desk must also be accommodated by an employer. In addition, illegal harassment occurs when either co-workers or managers exclude people because of their weight or tease them over it. The person who is harassed must first report this to the human resources department and give the company a chance to remedy the situation according to its policy.

Employers legally must offer reasonable accommodations that allow employees, no matter their size, to perform the job's essential functions. Some companies in Texas fail to do this or facilitate environments in which obese individuals are mistreated. Workers can rightfully seek workplace discrimination claims against such employers so that they get promotions, reasonable accommodation or other remedies due to them, according to the facts of each case. Understanding exactly what factors must be proven in order to prevail in such a case will likely be important for those who wish to pursue this type of discrimination claim against an employer.

Source:, 7 Ways to Prove Weight Discrimination, Donna Ballman, Oct. 14, 2013

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