Ok, not “here”, here. Cause I’m not hiring. I’m talking about the policy of the Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, Texas. I’ll skip the usual jokes about everything being bigger in Texas and get to the point. About a year ago, this medical center instituted a hiring policy that discriminates against anyone with a BMI over 35, because they feel they have a “healthy image” to uphold.
Yea. In other words, if you’re 5’10″ and over 245 pounds… you’re not healthy. Forget the fact that BMI charts are a terrible gauge of health, I mean under this circumstance “The Rock” wouldn’t be able to get a job with this hospital. Not that he’s looking, but I think you get my point. Anyone with a decent amount of muscle mass throws the whole BMI scale off. No, let’s take a look at some of the actual language in this policy…
… an employee’s physique “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional,” including an appearance “free from distraction” for hospital patients.
I’m quoting this from an online article in the Texas Tribune because a quick search of the hospital website couldn’t find their policy on this on their career center page or anywhere else. Ironically enough, they do have a non-discrimination policy posted on their website for their patients.
Maybe even more disturbing is the explanation given by the hospital chief executive, David Brown.
“The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance, 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.”
When I first found out about this yesterday, I shot a quick email over to Joe Nadglosky, CEO with the Obesity Action Coalition, figuring I would give him a heads up. I should have known they were already on top of it. Here’s his response back this morning…
Thanks Rob. OAC sent a formal request about two weeks ago for the policy to be reversed with no response to date. The OAC Board is meeting tonight to discuss further action. What’s even more disappointing is there is a major bariatric surgery program at this hospital!!!
Look for more from OAC soon.
To make things even worse, that bariatric center Joe mentions is a Center of Excellence. So, I figure that means they may do one of their calls to action on this… but if you want to get a jump on it, here’s some ways to contact the hospital;
Find them on Facebook
Tweet them @citizensmedical
eMail them at email@example.com
From other reading, it seems there is really no way this would hold up to a legal challenge, but maybe we can get them to reverse this policy decision without having to go that route.