Texas Hospital Refuses to Hire Overweight Job Applicants

April 4, 2012 | Risk Management News

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A Texas hospital has instituted a policy banning overweight job applicants from employment at the facility, according to a March 26, 2012, Texas Tribune article. According to the article, the policy requires potential employees to have a body mass index of less than 35 and states that an employee’s physique “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional,” including an appearance “free from distraction” for hospital patients. Although employers cannot discriminate against employees because of their race, age, or religion, only the state of Michigan and six U.S. cities ban discrimination against the overweight in hiring. The hospital’s chief executive officer explains that excessive weight has “all kinds of encumbrances” for the hospital and its health plan and that there’s evidence that extremely obese employees are absent from work more often.

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