VICTORIA, Tex. (CBS Houston) – Citizens Medical Center has instituted a policy which requires that all employees have a body mass index of less than 35.

The Texas Tribune is reporting that the Victoria hospital mandates that the body of every employee “should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional.”

“The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance,” hospital chief executive David Brown added to the paper. “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.”

Before being hired, a physician screens each potential employee to assess their general fitness as it pertains to their position of interest. The test includes measuring body mass index.

Some candidates have allegedly already been turned down for their weight problems. Those who become obese after hiring are not fired.

Brown noted that the hospital tries to help heavier candidates lose the extra pounds.

“We have some people who are applicants and they know the requirements, and we try and help them get there but they’re not interested,” he said. “So that’s fine, they can go work somewhere else.”

Attention for their hiring criteria is nothing new for Citizens Medical – the hospital is reportedly involved in litigation with doctors of Indian descent for charges of discrimination.

Body mass index, or BMI for short, is a system by which body fatness can be calculated factoring in one’s weight and height, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under the hospital’s rules, a person who stands at 5’5″ and weighs over 210 pounds, or a person at 5’10” weighing over 245 pounds, would not meet eligibility requirements for hire.

Comments (11)
  1. Ann Kasowski says:

    Wow, it’s amazing such discrimination exists. I wonder what CEO David Brown looks like. If he’s not heavy, he’s ugly. At least inside.

    1. June Keith says:

      I’m a skinny woman and this is discrimination and to say they won’t fire you is BS… they won’t fire you for being over weight however they will find a reason such as being late or work performance….

  2. June Keith says:

    I’m a skinny woman and this is discrimination and to say they won’t fire you is BS… they won’t fire you for being over weight however they will find a reason such as being late or work performance but you cant be they will work to find a reason.

  3. Bonnie says:

    How very sad that this kind of discrimination is legal (and, no, I’m not overweight). If I lived in Texas, I would not patronize this facility unless I had no other choice.

  4. paulmcdonald says:

    bout time, fat people are lazy at the hospital where I work. They put food first, not the patient. They are slow and can’t stop whinning about when they can eat again.

  5. paulmcdonald says:

    if we can vet a smoker, why not a fatty. both are poor examples of stellar health levels. we put the vex on positive drug users years ago! do you want your nurse to be 400 lbs or stink like cigs? if you can’t take care of yourself, i don’t want you trying to take care of me

  6. John Kauchick,RN,BSN says:

    Wonder if they are putting their money were their mouth is and offering a healthy lifestyles program for employees. Nothing wrong with the goal of a healthy workforce but unrealistic that they can function with that requirement. They will have to resort to misrepresenting the facts “we don’t have enough beds.” which really means “we don’t have enough nurses.” This is comparable to the mentality that says it is hiring only BSN’s. After 33 years of that goal the supply is only 36 per cent of yearly grads. There is an elitism/intellectualism in healthcare that often takes us down a path without considering the human factor. That path is full of potholes and eventually they have to backtrack. Negatively affecting the cost/quality to HC delivery.

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