During his "My Take," Tuesday, "Varney & Co." host Stuart Varney discussed a New York law that bans discrimination against someone because of their height or weight, arguing the legislation opens the door for litigation and makes running a profitable business more difficult.
STUART VARNEY: It's no fun being overweight or outright obese.
We Americans have the highest obesity rate of any developed country.
Discrimination happens. Some states are trying to do something about it.
New York passed a law banning discrimination in the workplace. I see two problems with this.
First, this is a lawyer's charter. It's a guaranteed gusher of money for the plaintiff's bar.
You're overweight, you don't like your job, you leave, and you file a lawsuit on the grounds that your employer was nasty to you, or didn't accommodate your condition.
Put that in front of a jury, and you win. You have become a "protected class."
Second, there is the problem of compliance. That is, employers have to make sure that your obesity is accommodated.
That's expensive. It's another regulation that makes running a profitable business more difficult.
Remember the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Whole armies of professional litigants made a business of filing non-compliance lawsuits.
The same thing will happen with obesity compliance suits.
As I said, it's difficult being obese and fitting into society.
It's also difficult, as an employer, to get the help you want, who can get the job done.
You're hemmed in by restrictions on who you can hire and fire. A balance is required.
The plaintiff's bar will not find that balance.
They're looking for their 30% of the take, plus expenses.
Obesity discrimination is their new industry, but it won't make obesity discrimination go away.