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The unspoken weight-discrimination problem at work

Discrimination linked to weight can affect hiring, promotions and employees’ mental wellbeing. Why aren’t legal protections in place?

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After a year working at a Canadian fashion company, Courtney noticed she was being excluded from meetings with vendors. “It was portrayed to me that being out of the office for a whole afternoon [meeting vendors] wasn’t a good use of my time,” she recalls.

In August 2018, 18 months after starting the job, Courtney (whose surname name is being withheld for privacy reasons) sat with her manager for a performance evaluation. He spent the first 10 minutes praising her job performance, but the following 20 minutes took Courtney by surprise.

“He told me that my looks were affecting my job. He point-blank told me that he thought I was too fat to be in the position I was in. He told me he was embarrassed having me around our vendors in meetings, and that it ruined his reputation.”

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