(Reuters) – December 18, 2014 – Europe’s top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, but stopped short of saying that obesity was a condition that needed specific protection under European anti-discrimination laws.
The landmark decision will be closely read by European employers and means that companies might have to provide greater support to obese staff.
The case was instigated by a Danish court, which wanted guidance over a complaint of unfair dismissal brought by a child-minder who was sacked by a local authority.
Karsten 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 (EJC) ruled that EU employment law did not specifically prohibit discrimination on the grounds of obesity, and said the law should not be extended to make it a protected category.
More on this article @ Reuters.com Health