Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

Weight Discrimination. Is it real? Have you experienced it? 
I know I have. It exists. It’s real and it permeates everything we do from trying on clothes to perception in the workplace.  
Does weight really matter at work?

Yes and No. I’m an Instructional Designer/Blogger by day. It doesn’t matter if I weigh 400 lbs or 150 lbs. I can do the job just the same. That doesn’t mean others aren’t going to judge me based on my size. Of course they will.
If I’m a car mechanic, I simply cannot weigh 400 lbs to do the job properly. Get my point?
Today in the Wall Street Journal a story was published about an ex-Hooter’s Girl that is suing for Weight Discrimination. Basically she was put on weight probation and asked to lose some pounds from her (eh em) 132 lb frame so that she could fit into the extra small Hooters uniform.
I have mixed emotions about this.
1. I believe that someone 5’8 and weighs 132lbs is probably in decent shape. Probably great shape!
2. I do not believe in women working somewhere that is contingent on their bodies and their looks. We are better than this! However, we are all free to make our own career choices! I have friends that work at Hooters. It’s not my place to judge but know you are putting your emotional health at risk here.
3. If the expectations of the job are to fit into the sizes described in the article, then fair is fair.
I’ve worked in HR, minored in HR management, and took some business law classes. I’m no expert, but discrimination does not exist when the expectations of the job were established at the time of hire and those expectations include specific physical characteristics to do the job. I remember several Hooters examples from my law book that actually lost in court.
I’m the biggest fighter for weight discrimination. However, I’m also a fighter for things that are fair. In this case, the chick knew what was expected. Even if I know she isn’t over weight, there are certain standards the job required.
I think the larger issue lies in how Hooters management is perceiving women. Why are the only sizes available XXS, XS, and S? That is simply ridiculous! I am by no means saying they should allow someone who is fat and sloppy to wait tables in daisy dukes and a tank top but perhaps the gates should be opened for those thicker, more athletic, curvier bodies that want to make some dough waiting tables on a bunch of pathetic slobbering men!
I know Buffie the Body isn’t fitting into no size small!

Touchy subject, isn’t it?
What are your thoughts? Weigh in!



  1. says

    This is crazy! Sounds like Hooters is branding. That female is by no means ‘fat’ at 5’8″ and 132 lbs. But I know there are companies out there who ‘brand’ and only hire who best represents them. Sad…but it happens.

    Oh and btw…thanks for the award! That was so cool of you!

  2. says

    They definitely do. There has always been a “sterotypical” body that works at Hooters. I think they should broaden their horizons all together!

    Aww, you are welcome. You deserve it!

  3. says

    Hooters has build its brand around women. Probably wrog, but seem to have worked out. She seem perfect to me.
    I’m with you on thinkng we can do better and not just depend on our bodies to get a job/career but then again I respect everyone’s career choices.
    Plus what if like her^^ the girls have big booties?? hehe they will atract extra attention but too bad for hooters since they wouldn’t have something to fit her figure. =D

  4. says

    @just another Belle,
    Totally agree. It’s a stick situation. But, Hooter’s is sort of a special circumstance. There are certain “parameters” that come with the job. Does that mean I agree? Well, that’s a whole ‘nother post! LOL

  5. says

    As a girl who could never get a job at Hooters, and won’t eat there, I’m surprised to say that I do agree with them. There were parameters that her hiring was contingent upon and she knew that. Do I agree with the parameters? nope. But she knew going in and then wanted them to change the rules for her. Sounds like a non-suit to me. (I’m still not going there though!)

  6. says

    Flight attendants had to fight strick weight and age requirements and finally made some changes. They struck a blow for women everywhere. A job like Hooters, or pole dancing – what do you expect. It is outright exploitation of women, but they are choosing to work there.

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