The Citizens Medical Center in Texas has taken a serious stand against obesity, refusing to hire anyone with a BMI over 35.
The hospital implemented the policy last year but a new article from the Texas Tribune has brought renewed interest to the hospitals policy.
To put the hospitals policy in perspective a 5’5″ person can not weigh more than 210 pounds.
According to the hospital administrators want employee physiques to “fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional.”
The policy is 100 percent legal since only the state of Michigan and six in individual cities have discrimination laws that protect over weight people.
Many hospitals refuse to hire workers who smoke and some legal experts believe the Citizens Medical Center policy could lead to a lawsuit that frames obesity as a disability.
Suzanne Lucas for CBS News write:
“On the one hand, it makes sense that your health care provider is, well, healthy,”
The hospital also bans underweight workers which could help administrators argue that they are not focusing hate against obese people.
It’s still unclear what type of actions the hospital would take if their star doctors became obese or lost too much weight, at this time they have not been faced with that type of decision.
Oddly enough the hospitals policy does not point to higher costs of care for obese workers or claim that they can not do the job well enough to be employed, instead the hospital says it comes down to appearance issues that leave many patients feeling uncomfortable when obese workers provide them with care. Seniors 65 and older are the group most likely to complain about being watched after by an obese hospital employee.