Weight Discrimination is Now Illegal in New York City

weight height discrimination illegal nyc

NYC.gov / Office of the Mayor

On Friday, Mayor Eric Adams signed Intro. 209-A into law, which makes discrimination on the basis of height and weight illegal when considering someone for employment, housing, or public accommodations. It’s part of a larger nationwide movement of body positivity, and lawmakers in other states like New Jersey and Massachusetts are considering legislation to add weight to the list of groups against whom discrimination is illegal.


The bill was sponsored by New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu, who represents Manhattan District 7 (which has a southern border of West 96th Street). Abreu says he gained 40 pounds during the pandemic and noticed people treating him differently, adding that someone even touched his stomach once and said he was getting too big. “Size discrimination is a social justice issue and a public health threat,” he said in a statement following the bill’s signing. “As the global beacon of tolerance, it is only right that New York City is leading the national effort to end size discrimination with the signing of this law today.”

“On June 4, 1967, hundreds of New Yorkers gathered in Central Park to celebrate their size in what was referred to as a ‘Fat-in.’ Council Member Abreu referenced this event in his speech, reminding the audience that people have been fighting this injustice for a long time.”

The law will go into effect in 180 days and will be enforced by the New York City Commission on Human Rights under Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, which prevents discrimination for the purposes of employment, housing, and public accommodations.


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