European Court of Justice decides obesity 'could be a disability'

Defining obesity as a disability may make compliance with the Equality Act much harder

18 Dec 2014

Obesity can constitute a disability in certain circumstances, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) has ruled.

The court had been asked to consider the case of a male child-minder, Karsten Kaltoft from Denmark, who weighs approximately 25 stone, argued that he was sacked for being overweight. Kaltoft brought a claim for discrimination against case his employers, Billund local authority, after he was dismissed four years ago.

The authority contended that it was a fall in the number of children needing child-minding service which led to Kaltoft losing his employment.

The Danish courts asked the CJEU to clarify whether obesity could be defined as a disability. The court ruled that if the obesity of the worker "hi...

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