"The entire thrust of [the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's] mission is to have people considered for employment based on their qualifications and experience -- not on irrelevant factors," Lisser said.
Null described weight bias as a cultural problem, intertwined with issues of race, gender, poverty and class.
"You also have to look at before-hiring practices -- at the kinds of social networks people have, especially in today's economy, where you're more likely to get a job based on if someone recommended you," she said. "If you think about the stigma associated with [obesity] -- if you know that's not going to reflect positively on you, you may not recommend that person."
"Obesity prejudice is really the last acceptable form of prejudice," said Latner. "There needs to be legislation in place to protect obese workers from discrimination. We really need to protect that part of our workforce."
The Obesity Action Coalition has more on weight bias and stigma.
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