You’re Fat! You’re Fired!

Companies are now paying bonuses to employees who lose weight.

Get rewarded with bonuses, at work, if you diet?

Be penalized if your remain fat? (No bonus for the “fatties”!)

Are companies getting too involved in what we do in our personal life? What we do to our bodies? Can they do that? Should they do that?

Does being fat, affect your work performance?

Is a fat person less capable of doing a good job, than a thinner one?

Some companies won’t hire individuals if they smoke. What? You say… Here’s an excerpt from Center for American Progress

Corporations around the world have been encouraging smoke-free workplaces by placing limits on how often and where employees can use tobacco during working hours. However, it seems that some corporations want to move beyond smoke-free workplaces to entirely smoke-free workforces. In January 2006, Weyco, Inc=, a medical-benefits administration company, began random tobacco breathalyzer tests to determine whether employees have been smoking on or off the job. Employees who failed the test were fined $50 if not enrolled in a smoking cessation program. Four employees who opted out of the test were fired. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has declared that it will begin firing smokers in October 2006. The railroad company Union Pacific has also stopped hiring workers in those states where it is legal to do so

Will companies stop hiring individuals, because they’re over weight?

Search online, and you can read how employers want healthy employees, thus decreasing their costs, and improving their productivity. It’s claimed that healthy employees also have less absenteeism. It all relates to that, all important, “bottom line” i.e…… profit!

If companies can legally hire non smokers only, will it soon be that employers can discriminate against over weight applicants, also?

Not the same, you say.

Read my article, named: Should Smokers Pay A Higher Insurance Premium? You’ll be amazed at the results of my study.

It could happen.

But, should it?

Think about this….

Some employers can eliminate potential employees based on the results of:

1) A pre-employment drug test.

2) A poor driving record

3) The result of a security screening

4) A pre-employment physical

5) If they are a smoker

Will number 6, be….

If you are over weight?

What do you think?

Leave a comment, and share your thoughts.

Guthy Renker Corporation

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4 Responses to You’re Fat! You’re Fired!

  1. asako says:

    Oh, this is a hugely deep debate. I am so opinionated on this topic, I apologize if I write something politically inappropriate. Coming from a foreign country, I screw up myself with political inappropriateness often

    Is obesity a choice? Can we “discriminate” against people with medical conditions? So are we going to add on the list a mother with babies next?

    First, obesity is not a choice. All studies show the correlation between the neighborhood and obesity ratio, social aspect, wealth aspect.

    Second, we should not discriminate against people. It is a tricky question, if you have two employees and one is definitely having an absenteeism problem and another is high performing, as a fair employer, you have to choose the high performing one. But the employer should not make an assumption that the obese person would have such an issue. I know people with obesity issues who are absolutely high performing.

    Finally, it is kind of strange. I do not know why it comes to health, we can not accept diversity discipline. I think if we promote more people who suffer from obesity issues to the higher ranks in the packaged food industry, this country will improve on many aspects, because they know their struggles and what have been wrong in the past….

  2. Barbara says:


    Thank you for your input.

    In my eyes, discrimination of any kind is wrong, but it happens all the time. How we can change that, I don’t have the answer.

    Obesity…I don’t think anyone would “choose” to be obese, but for some, making poor food choices, and inactivity, can result in obesity.

    Do some employers discriminate against overweight people? Yes, I think it happens more often than we know.

    What I see as unfortunate, is that as more employers set their standards to exclude certain “groups” of people, they are also decreasing the employee “pool”, which they can draw from.

    There are many brilliant individuals who are smokers, are obese, have bad driving records, or may not be able to pass a company physical, who will be overlooked by some. Companies who don’t find these, as employment “issues”, end up with a much larger employee “pool”, and may end up with some fantastic employees.

  3. Maria Becker says:

    Although it does seem that companies are interfering in their employees lives too much, they are actually trying to be more productive by trying to improve peopleĀ“s quality of life. If in moderation, these measures can help arise health awareness.

  4. Breathalyzer says:

    Surely companies should be able to employ, fire, hire or otherwise, whoever they wish for whatever reason.

    Companies often are not faceless organisations – in the offices and factory floors there are people who care deeply about what goes on within their four walls, and care deeply that the firm is as profitable as possible. It’s businesses business to make money after all!

    We encourage our staff to live healthily, (tho we are not at the stage of sacking people i hasten to add) and we have no smokers at all. (though we are a fairly small firm) I would hate to lose the right to pick and choose those individuals I have to spend EVERY day with, regardless of the criteria I wish to choose by.

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