Over at the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, Jon Hyman has an interesting discussion on the proposal to add ugly to the protected classes under labor law and employment laws.
To wit, Hyman writes:
“Under the current state of the law, it is illegal to discharge, to refuse to hire, or otherwise to discriminate with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment because of: race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, military status, and veteran status. I am fairly confident that 2009 will add sexual orientation, and possibly gender identity, to this list.”
Now, the argument for adding ugly to the protected classes is to prevent discrimination based on looks, of course. Some, maybe most, employers prefer hiring good-looking people as they are perceived to be sharper, sexier and better, more trustworthy workers.
However, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how could the courts or regulatory agencies ever agree on how to define ugly so as to have a workable law?