Mayor Eric Adams signed a bill into law Friday banning weight and height discrimination in the workplace, public places and when individuals are applying for housing.
“We all deserve the same access to employment, housing and public accommodation regardless of our appearance and it shouldn’t matter how tall you are or how much you weigh,” said Adams during a City Hall-based press conference.
“When you’re looking for a job and you are out on our town or you are trying to get some form of accommodation or apartment to rent, you should not be treated differently.”
The move amends the city’s Human Rights Law to include as protected categories perceived and actual weight and height discrimination illegal in employment, public accommodations and housing.
Council Member Shaun Abreu (D-Manhattan) introduced the legislation after he gained 40 pounds during the pandemic and noticed his friends making comments about his weight.
“Today is a monumental advancement for civil rights, size freedom and body positivity and while our laws are only now catching up to our culture, it is a victory that I hope will cause more cities, states and one day the federal government to follow suit,” he said.
“No one should have to live with the silent burden of size discrimination, to feel as if they are defined by their stature, rather than their character.”
The new law will take effect in 180 days, or roughly six months.