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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    2

    Default Stopped for Being Overweight

    Two weeks ago I was shopping in Dillard's with a friend. I went into the dressing room to try a couple of shirts on, and when I came out the saleswomen had called security. I was stopped when I tried to leave the store and the police were called. I was searched and then was allowed to leave. The clerks thought that I had clothes stuffed into my shirt as my stomach is large. What I would like to know is do I have a case against the store. I feel like I was singled out because of my size and I was mortified when I had to stand in the middle of the store with the security guard waiting for the police. I received no apology for the mix up when it was over.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    You did not give your state.

    Having said that, weight is not a protected class under the law in most jurisdictions. Therefore, singling someone out due to their weight is not illegal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,844

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    The suggestion was that the only cause the LP's had for stopping the individual was her girth, not that it is illegal to discriminate based on weight.

    Most states have laws that permit suspected shoplifters to be detained upon reasonable suspicion - without knowing what state is involved nobody can look up the details of the law for the mystery state. But this would be difficult to address without knowing what else the salesperson and other store employees observed. They likely perceived a number of behaviors that, even if completely innocent, led them to suspect that you were shoplifting. I very much doubt that they accuse every overweight customer of shoplifting so, at least in their eyes, it would appear that there was something that made you stand out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    The suggestion was that the only cause the LP's had for stopping the individual was her girth, not that it is illegal to discriminate based on weight.
    The statement was that the OP was "singled out" due to his/her weight.

    If that was the case, it was not legally actionable as illegal discrimination.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    The state that I live in is TN. I also have dreads but I dress very nicely. I do not look like a junky or a nasty "hippy". There were hangers in the dressing room when I went in and I believe that she was so busy looking at my hair that she failed to do her job of removing the hangers. She assumed that I must have taken something. The whole time that she was talking to the security guard she was staring at my hair. So, my hair and the fact that my stomach was distended ( the rest of my body is normal sized) is the whole reason that she stopped me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,856

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    Discrimination on the basis of weight is LEGAL in Tennessee.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    I think you'd have about as good of luck suing your hairdresser....or, maybe, McDonald's.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,844

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    Again, the issue here isn't whether there was discrimination against somebody for being overweight. It is whether there was sufficient cause under the facts of this case for a LP to investigate the person for shoplifting, with one of the factors apparently being that her girth made it appear that she was wearing multiple layers of clothing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,856

    Default Re: Stopped for Being Overweight

    I understand. But I nonetheless thought it would be helpful for the poster to know, since she claims she feels "singled out" and that generally means that discrimination is on her mind.

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