Can I sue my boss for making comments about fat/over weight people at work?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue my boss for making comments about fat/over weight people at work?

I’m a medical assistant and a doctor. I work for always makes fun of overweight people. He told the office manager not to hire any more “fatties� and also states that he likes a certain employee because he’s small and doesn’t take up much office space. It effects me because I am medically considered overweight and it gives me anxiety and stress working with this doctor because he works me harder than any other MA and I truely believe it has something to do with weight.

Asked on August 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF your weight is due to a medical condition considered a "disability" (a diagnosed and defined condition which has a significant persistent effect on major life activities), then you could bring a disability-discrimination claim: the law prohibits discriminating against or harassing employees due to disabilities. However, if you do not have what would be considered a disability, you could not sue your employer: while the law protects people with disabilities, it does not protect being overweight not due to a medical disability.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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