Privacy Law

Library Clerk Fired for Refusing to Disclose Her Weight and Height


An employee of an Iowa library has been fired for refusing to disclose her weight and height for inclusion on a city-issued identification card.

Lisa Bonifas, a 37-year-old circulation clerk at the Urbandale, Iowa, public library, was fired in late July for “willfully choosing to not comply” with the city’s identification card requirements, the Des Moines Register reported July 30.

Bonifas told Iowa’s WOI-DT Channel 5 she was acting on principle. “I mean, how much can an employer ask?” she said.

Apparently, a lot, according to the Register, which says it’s perfectly legal for an employer to demand such personal information from an employee, even when it has no relevance to the job. Because Iowa is a “right to work” state, employers can fire for any reason as long as it’s not discriminatory.

The city, which is issuing new ID cards, began asking employees for their weight and height, along with their name, date of birth, title and fingerprints, in June. Other information, including blood type and medications, is optional.

The city’s human resources director told the Register that the height and weight requirements were recommended by the police department for identification purposes in the event of “some unforeseen disaster.”

Bonifas told the TV station she had no regrets about taking a stand. “I think it’s wrong,” she said.

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