Many people are under the misconception that being fired from your job due to your appearance is illegal. The cold hard fact is that, in most cases, you CAN lose your job due to your appearance. And it is completely legal. Employees cannot fire you because of your sexual orientation, race, age, national origin or disability. But if the way you look doesn’t fit into those categories, your boss could legally fire you because of your appearance. Before you run off to get a nose job or lipo, read the rest of the article to fully understand the situation.
It is not secret that attractive people generally are more successful than those that are considered beauty-challenged by modern day society. But your looks cannot result in the loss of your job, correct? Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Unless you can prove that the beauty standards are set only for one of the sexes — which could be considered sex discrimination — or that only people of a certain age, national origin or race are being held, then the company’s actions are probably not illegal.
If you take into consideration the outcome of various court cases where an employee has been fired due to being too attractive, then it is perfectly legally for a company to let you go because your looks are a distraction. However, if the boss is making inappropriate comments about your looks, you may actually be experiencing sexual harassment, which is illegal and needs to be handled immediately.
Your weight can actually cause you to miss out on or be fired from a job legally. In fact, Michigan is the only state that has laws in place that prohibit discrimination against overweight people. If, however, you are obese, you could be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which makes it illegal to be let go from your job simply because of your disability.
Yes, you can be legally fired for being too thin unless the weight is due to a medical disability, for which you would be covered under the Americans with Disability Act. If there is a minimum weight requirement for your job, you may be experiencing the illegal discrimination entitled disparate impact on women. Your employer must be able to demonstrate the there is a business necessity for the weight requirement. If he or she cannot, then you may have a case for the courts.
Studies have shown that those who are on the tall side tend to make more money than those who are shorter. When a job discriminations against someone because of size, it’s called size discrimination and it is, unfortunately, only illegal in the state of Michigan and a few cities such as San Francisco.
Thankfully, one state already has laws to make discrimination based on appearance illegal, and a few others are following suit. In the meantime, you can file a discriminator case if you have experienced inequality due to race, nationality, disability or age.