In a healthy work environment, you could weigh 100 pounds or 400 pounds and not ever have the topic of your weight come up in conversation. Everyone has the right to an environment at work that is appropriate, but some people may feel as though their workplace is hostile because of comments about their weight. If you've heard people speaking about your weight behind your back, or perhaps even in front of you, you should file a complaint with human resources. If doing so doesn't immediately improve the situation, you should contact an employment attorney to discuss a potential hostile work environment case. Here are some topics that could lead to this scenario:
Implication Of An Eating Disorder
If you have a slight figure or you're underweight, people with whom you work might automatically assume that you have an eating disorder. Regardless of whether you do or whether you're perfectly healthy, you have the right to a safe environment at work in which people don't make disparaging remarks. For example, people may tell you that you need to "fatten up" or you may hear hurtful comments about you throwing up in the toilet if you're on your way to the bathroom.
Discussion Of Obesity
A significant percentage of adults are overweight or obese, and it's important for other individuals to remember that these people may be sensitive about their weight. If you fall into either category, you might sometimes be aware of people discussing your weight. Colleagues may laugh when they see you buying an unhealthy snack from the break room vending machine, and others may comment on your clothing appearing tight or frumpy. People may also make a point of noting that you could be at risk of various health issues because of your weight.
Mentions Of Baby Weight
If you've recently returned to work after maternity leave, it's possible that your body may not be in the same shape as it was before you were pregnant. Most of your colleagues might be excited to welcome you back to work, but you could hear some snide remarks from others. For example, someone may say that you're carrying a lot of baby weight with you, and others may jokingly question whether you're still pregnant.
Each of these examples can be hurtful and contribute to a hostile work environment, and may be worth pursuing legal action with the help of an attorney. For more information, contact firms like the Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.