In Europe, Obesity Can Be Deemed a Disability at Work

In Europe, Obesity Can Be Deemed a Disability at Work
Image credit: Reuters | Brendan McDermid

Franchise Your Business

Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with one of our Franchise Advisors today and we’ll help you start building your franchise organization.
2 min read
This story originally appeared on Reuters

Europe's top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, meaning that they can be covered by an EU law barring discrimination at work.

The decision followed a question from a Danish court, which was reviewing a complaint of unfair dismissal brought by Karsten Kaltoft, a child-minder, against a Danish local authority.

Kaltoft, who never weighed less than 160 kilograms (352 pounds) during his employment, argued that his obesity was one of the reasons he lost his job and that this amounted to unlawful discrimination, an allegation the council denied.

The Court of Justice of the European Union was asked to rule on whether EU law forbids discrimination on the grounds of obesity or whether obesity could be considered a disability.

The Luxembourg-based court ruled that EU employment law did not specifically prohibit discrimination on the grounds of obesity, and that the law should not be extended to cover it.

However, the court said that if an employee's obesity hindered "full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers" then it could be considered a disability.

This, in turn, is covered by anti-discrimination legislation.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, based on 2008 estimates, roughly 23 percent of European women and 20 percent of European men were obese.

(Reporting by Julia Fioretti; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Crispian Balmer)

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21 to save on 12 marketing books for entrepreneurs that are recommended by entrepreneurs:
  • Digital Marketing Handbook
  • No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing
  • Ultimate Guide to Youtube for Business
  • And more
Whether you want to learn something new, be more productive, or make more money, the Entrepreneur Store has something for everyone:
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Online Courses
  • Travel Essentials
  • Housewares
  • Fitness & Health Devices
  • And More

Latest on Entrepreneur