Weight-Based Discrimination and the Necessity for Federal Protection Legislation

Courtney Demoree, Bryant University

Document Type Dissertation


Weight-based discrimination is a problem that many adult Americans are currently suffering from in the employment process. The lack of awareness on the topic has caused a lack of social pressure in pushing the needed legislation. The purpose of this study was to identify how individuals feel about weight-based discrimination and see where the level of awareness truly is. Surveys were administered to 100 graduating seniors of the Bryant University class of 2007 and a phone interview was conducted with hiring personnel of 25 different companies. From these surveys and interviews it was found that both the undergrads and the hiring personnel did acknowledge that weight-based discrimination exists but no one felt the effects or threat on a personal level. The results suggest that awareness has to be deepened from just the surface level to a deeper level where individuals recognize and understand how weight-based discrimination one day could affect them personally. Once this realization is made the social pressure should increase as should the urgency for the passing of new legislation to protect against weight-based discrimination.