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News: Obesity Now a Legal Disability in EU

December 23, 2014 1 min read

According to the European Court of Justice, obesity can now be considered a disability. The case started when a Danish daycare worker, Karsten Kaltoft, was fired from his job of 15 years. The company said that a drop in enrolment meant that he was no longer needed, but Kaltoft claimed he was let go because of his weight. The Danish courts asked the European Court of Justice to examine the case to clarify if obesity should be a legal disability. The ECJ concluded that obesity could fall within the realm of "disability" so long as the worker's weight "hinders the full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers." This change in law will be binding across all countries in the European Union, and will require companies to provide certain accommodations for people with the condition. Is this a step forward or backward? The population of obese people in Europe is rising, and this legislation will reduce overt discrimination in the workplace, and make normal life at work a little easier for the obese. However, not everyone thinks this is a progressive move. Jane Deville Almond of the British Obesity Society said, "if employers suddenly have to start ensuring that they've got wider seats, larger tables, more parking spaces for people who are obese, I think then we're just making the situation worse." Do you think obesity should be considered a legal disability? Leave your thoughts in the comment box.   Image from tobyotter Read the full story at BBC News: Health

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