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Discrimination in the workplace based on beauty

There are numerous types of discrimination that take place in the workplace every single day. Most of this discrimination centers around a person's gender, race, sexual orientation or national origin. However, there is another type of discrimination that is becoming increasingly prevalent: harassment based on beauty. 

Time Magazine ran an article detailing how beautiful women often face discrimination in the hiring process based solely on their looks. This can apply to individuals who others perceive as beautiful or ugly. Many people wonder if this type of discrimination is unlawful. It is certainly harmful to one's self-esteem, but discrimination based on beauty does not necessarily have any protections under the law. When in doubt, people who should consult with an attorney if they believe they were victims of workplace discrimination.

Discrimination cannot center around another protected aspect

There exist protected groups employers cannot discriminate against. For example, business owners cannot hire or not hire someone based on race. If a company wanted to hire a bunch of models for an ad campaign, then it would make sense for the organization to hire people who most would view as attractive. In the event the company only hired Caucasian actors for the campaign, then people who applied for the job who are not Caucasian may sue on the grounds they faced discrimination on the basis of race. When a company needs to hire attractive individuals, the people at the top need to ask themselves what they consider to be attractive. 

Bona fide occupational qualifications

Many industries require bona fide occupational qualifications. For instance, some restaurants only hire female waitresses and servers. Under normal circumstances, the law could view this as discrimination based on gender. Occasionally, it is discrimination. Many years ago, Hooters denied employment to three men who applied for jobs, and those men sued on the grounds the denial was a result of their gender. The company settled with the men out of court, and to this day, the company continues to employ female servers but needs to consider men for cooks and other positions that are not dependent on the person's gender. 

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The Law Office of Michelle Cohen Levy, P.A.
633 SE 3rd Avenue
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