Most of our regular Colorado readers probably know by now that there are many employers throughout the country, and in Colorado, who do not always do what is right when it comes to their employees. Employment discrimination can take many forms, often based on things like an employee's religion, race, nationality or disability. And some experts have even taken the stand that new areas of discrimination are rising in America, including discrimination based on an employee's weight. Now, it appears there may be yet another category of discrimination on the rise among America's workforce - "caregiver" discrimination.
Some of our Colorado readers may not know, but there is an interesting debate emerging between employers and employees. Some employers have taken the unusual step of excluding potential employees during a job search based on their weight. Some have even gone to the extent of publicly stating that they will no longer higher applicants who have a body mass index exceeding their delineated threshold. This has triggered some to suggest that the practice is a new kind of discrimination: "weight discrimination."
An intriguing Colorado case continues to make its way through the appellate court process, with a recent decision providing some aspects of victory to both parties in the case. The situation which resulted in litigation dates from a few years ago, and originally including claims of violation of everything from the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Workplace discrimination can be a serious concern for both employees and employers. Employers on the highest level sometimes cannot control the behavior of lower-level supervisory staff who may be in a position to, and may be inclined towards, discriminating against the workers they are responsible for. And employees can be made to feel powerless in the face of discrimination, especially in today's economic climate where many who are employed are just thankful that they have a job. A recent report provides some hope that America's workplaces, and Colorado's in particular, may be moving toward a more inclusive environment for all workers.