October 22, 2016

Florida Law - Of Counsel

The Florida Bar steps up its diversity efforts

Arnell Bryant-Willis, the Bar's first diversity initiatives manager, will help make it happen.

Art Levy | 3/22/2012

Joking Aside

Phyllis Towzey
Phyllis Towzey
A federal court has upheld new rules in the Americans with Disabilities Act that give obese people more protection against discrimination in the workplace. Phyllis J. Towzey, a St. Petersburg employment attorney, anticipates rising numbers of weight-related suits as a result, particularly cases involving overweight workers who feel they have been mistreated or passed over for promotions because of their weight.

The takeaway: Companies shouldn't consider weight when making personnel decisions beyond ensuring that employees are able to perform the physical requirements of their jobs. Towzey adds that supervisors would be wise to not even mention the issue of weight.

"Isolated comments can be used later on to show that the supervisor and the company as a whole had a bias against people who are overweight," Towzey says. "People better not make jokes anymore, like 'Oh, we better get an extra dozen doughnuts —?Joe is here today.' Joe might file a lawsuit."

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Mosaic's laser-beam measurement of sinkhole
Mosaic's laser-beam measurement of sinkhole

Last week Mosaic sent a drone with a camera flying above its sinkhole while the company lowered a measuring device using lasers into the hole to determine its width and depth. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Did the final presidential debate sway your opinion any?

  • No
  • Yes

See Results

Ballot Box