U.S. hospital balks at hiring obese workers

Medical centre refusing people with body mass index over 35
By Amanda Silliker
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/22/2012

Citizens Medical Centre, a hospital in Victoria, Texas, issued a controversial hiring policy in March stating it does not hire anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher. That’s the equivalent of someone who is five feet five inches tall and weighs 210 pounds.

The policy states an employee’s physique “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a health-care professional,” including an appearance that is “free from distraction,” according to the Texas Tribune.

“The majority of our patients are over 65 and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance,” David Brown, the hospital’s CEO, told the newspaper. “We have the ability, as an employer, to characterize our process and to have a policy that says what’s best for our business and for our patients.”