Victoria Hospital in Texas has announced they will no longer hire individuals with a Body Mass Index over 35, according to CBS News. To put that in perspective, that would be the equivalent of a 5’5” individual weighing 210 pounds or more. To be fair, the hospital is also including people with a BMI below 18.5, because that is considered unhealthy as well. Although in the US, individuals with a BMI over 35 far outnumber those with one below 18.5.
In rare instances, some people with a BMI over 35 cannot control their weight due to a medical condition. The vast majority of individuals can in fact control their weight with diet and exercise.
This policy is not without its criticisms however. Fact is, you eliminate many qualified and excellent candidates and employees who may be overweight. What if a star employee gains weight and his or her BMI goes over 35? Would the hospital fire that employee? What if one becomes pregnant and it tips her over? This policy undoubtedly raises many questions, and the hospital may open themselves up for discrimination lawsuits.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—California employment attorneys