Scale Casey Taylor, a former Marine, had his job offer from BNSF Railway rescinded because his body mass index was 41.3, “severely obese.” (Photo: Shutterstock)

There are multiple federal and state regulations that carve out protections against discrimination for a variety of reasons–age, race, gender, etc.–but what about weight?  If a person is obese but otherwise capable of doing the job, can an employer to refuse to hire them?

No, at least in Washington, where the state’s Supreme Court has ruled hat obesity is covered by the Washington Law Against Discrimination, which offers protection for those with disabilities.

Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

More from this author



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.