Scale Casey Taylor, a former Marine, had his job offer from BNSF Railway rescinded because his body mass index was 41.3, “severely obese.”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

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?

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 © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.