Sun | Jan 20, 2019

European court rules obesity can be disability

Published:Friday | December 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM


The European Court of Justice said obesity can be a disability, a ruling that could have consequences for employers across the continent.

The court ruled yesterday in the case of a Danish child-minder who says he was unfairly fired for being fat.

The court said if obesity hinders "full and effective participation in professional life," it could count as a disability. Discrimination on the grounds of disability is illegal under European Union law.

Karsten Kaltoft worked as a child-minder for 15 years for the Municipality of Billund in Denmark, before he was dismissed in 2010.

Kaltoft, who weighed 159 kilogrammes (350 pounds), says he was fired for being obese, a claim his employer contests.

The court says it was for Danish courts to decide whether Kaltoft's obesity constituted a disability.