Obesity discrimination is common — and against the law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

A recent study by Michigan State University and Hope College found that employers perceive overweight workers as lazier, more emotionally unstable and harder to get along with than their “normal weight” counterparts.

Mark Roehling, author of the study and associate professor of HR management at MSU, said his research showed that employers discriminate against overweight workers at every stage of employment—“from hiring to promotion to firing.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 28% of Michigan residents are obese, and another 36% qualify as overweight.

Since Michigan is the only state in the nation that currently prohibits obesity discrimination in the workplace, Michigan employers should guard themselves from litigation by eliminating weight-based biases from their practices.

All Michigan employers should have a written policy prohibiting weight-based discrimination. Roehling also recommends covering weight-based biases and stereotypes in diversity training.

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