Watch CBS News

No Discrimination Law For The Overweight

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Give me an "L" - for lawsuit.

When the Baltimore Ravens picked 32 cheerleaders to go to the Super Bowl, they left 23-year-old Courtney Lenz off the cheer roster. She claims she was not selected because of her weight, which is now 125.4 pounds, up from 124 during the season, garnering no sympathy from those of us who spent high school in the marching band: Boo hoo. I'm young and beautiful.

Not everyone feels that way: 18,000 people signed a petition to get Ms. Lenz on the roster saying that it's unjust. But if the Ravens didn't choose her because of her weight, which they deny, would it be illegal? Nope.

There is no law that protects people from job action on the basis of their weight or appearance unless that's just an excuse to fire someone because of gender, age, or ethnicity. So, while Ms. Lenz doesn't have a legal leg to stand on, she's at the top of a pyramid of fans who support her.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.