UPDATE: New Jersey Senate Committee Approves Bill Which Will Prohibit Discrimination Based on Weight and Height

[UPDATE February 12, 5:55pm] The New Jersey state Senate on Monday voted 22-14 to approve the bill to expand the state’s Law Against Discrimination to include weight and height as protected characteristics.

“Roughly 40 percent of adults struggle with obesity and their weight, and about 20 percent of children, but this sort of discrimination and bias goes well beyond societal impacts of what we have imposed as a norm,” the bill’s sponsor, Senator Andrew Zwicker, said in a statement.

“With this needed change, we will make our laws specific to weight and height discrimination, and will provide protections for a significant number of New Jerseyans.”

The bill still has to pass the Assembly, where it has yet to receive a committee vote.

Original story below:

The New Jersey state Senate Labor Committee approved a bill today which aims to ban weight and height discrimination.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Andrew Zwicker (D-Middlesex), would expand the state’s Law Against Discrimination to include weight and height as protected characteristics.

The current Law Against Discrimination protects race, origin, age, gender identity, marital status, disability, and nationality in areas of employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and public service and elsewhere.

The bill provides exceptions for employment and public accommodation for bone fide occupational qualifications and safety reasons, respectively.

If enacted, New Jersey would be just the second state in the nation to prohibit discrimination against someone because of their body size or shape. Michigan is the only such state with similar laws.

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  1. “Weight Watchers Will Have To Accept Me Now!” 80-Pound Man Declares After Weight Discrimination Bill Passes NJ Senate
    Eighty pound, NJ resident, Alex Slimstone, who’s tried unsuccessfully to gain entry into Weight Watchers diet and exercise program for the last 25 years, told reporters on Thursday that, “Now, those bigots at Weight Watchers will HAVE to accept me, due to the weight discrimination bill that just passed the NJ State Senate!”
    “From hereon, those elitist, prejudiced lowlives at Weight Watchers are prohibited from telling me that I’m too thin or too skinny to be accepted into their program,” he said, as he celebrated the good news with a 2×2 inch sliver of bread, smeared with a teeny tab of non-fat cream cheese, barely visible to the human eye, and a 1 1/2ounce serving of diet coke.
    “Here, treat yourself,” he told a reporter, while disattaching a small crumb of bread from his microscopic sandwich and handing it to the reporter.
    “You have to wash netilas yedayim before you partake in that delicacy,” he told the reporter, “but I’m pretty certain you don’t have to bentch on that when you’re done.”
    The 80-pound NJ resident then went on to tell reporters that: “It’s been extremely painful for me these last 25 years, knowing full well that the bigots at Weight Watchers rejected me solely due to my weight size.”
    “I’m absolutely certain that, if I’d been a 400-pound-sized gentleman, they would have accepted me immediately, no questions asked,” he said. “But because of their prejudiced, elitist attitude, they look at people like me – the eighty-pounders of the world – as if we’re some kind of lowly alien creatures.”
    “Until the passing of this bill,” he said, “I’ve had no choice but to diet and exercise all by myself, with no outside help and no comradery, and no guidance whatsoever. If I hadn’t persisted in my weight loss endeavors, I’d have ballooned to 85 pounds by now!”
    “However, with the passage of this bill, Weight Watchers has no choice but to accept me,” he said, while smiling broadly and sipping on his 1 1/2-ounce serving of diet Coke. “Which means that, from hereon, I’ll be able to join forces with people of all weights and poundages to combat our obesity disease together, as one unit of blubber and fat.”
    “Gone are the days of weight segregation,” he said, “when 80-pounders and 400-pounders were banned from sitting together to jointly solve their overweight issues.”
    “Truth be told,” he asserted, “the eighty-pounders and 400-pounders of the world are all one family, because we’re all working towards the same goal. Some of us might consume 10 cupcakes in a single shot, and some of us might consume one cupcake over the course of a decade. But ultimately, whether we weigh 400 pounds or 80 pounds, we’re all made from the same blobs of fat and the same clusters of flesh, and all of us want to shed as much fat as humanely possible.”
    “Thank you, NJ State Senate!” the highly appreciative 80-pound New Jerseyan concluded.

  2. With West Virginia being the most obese state in the nation, public accomodations have always been tailored to the “Diet challenged” population with no law required.
    p.s. The state of Mississippi would like to thank West Virginia for once again making sure we didn’t come in last as usual.

  3. A teenager at almost 5’8 and over 200 lbs trying to go on the rides because of his weight he couldn’t fit and died because the harness of a ride didn’t click

  4. A fellow, about 400lb was once told at the ticket counter of an airline that he has to buy another ticket, as he is taking the space of two people. He said that was an eye-opener for him, and he worked on losing weight. Others would just sue for discrimination, and gain nothing but perhaps a few dollars.

  5. To Lakewood Yid: If someone weighs 400 pounds, what is wrong with charging him for the amount of space he takes up? Why would that be “discriminating”?

    • Shtusim Alert

      The entire point of Lakewood Yids post was to say you don’t need to be accommodating to overweight people, and that being turned away from something because of their weight can actually be a beneficial wake up call for them.

      He was bemoaning the fact that instead of taking a healthy message from it, other people would probably just sue for discrimination.

      Next time take the time and effort to actually read the post you are asking questions on.

      Oh reading comprehension, where have thou gone?

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