Anna North of Jezebel.com reported yesterday that in order to qualify for certain jobs at Weight Watchers you have to first shed a few pounds.
If you want to be a meetings leader for the company’s Meeting Room, for example, you must be a Lifetime Member and within 2 pounds of your weight loss goal. If you plan to seek a receptionist position you must be within 10 pounds of your weight goal range upon hire.
Is this a problem?
Most of us would be ready to sue (and slap) a potential employer if he or she told us we needed a smaller waistline before we could be hired. But if your job is all about helping people lose weight, is it wrong to ask that you have a weight loss success story of your own?
As North writes: “This requirement makes a certain amount of sense from the company’s perspective — they’re all about losing weight, and so you should be good at losing weight before you help other people do so.”
But North goes on to say that having this slim and trim workforce can be false advertising for the Weight Watchers brand: “The result may be a skewed view for prospective members — all the Meeting Room staff have reached (or nearly reached) their goals, so it may seem like everybody does. But in reality, only those close to their goal are allowed to staff the Meeting Room.”
So what do you think? Is this a classic case of weight discrimination or is this no different from Express asking its employees to sport the store’s cute clothes while working?