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 but 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 and anti-discrimination legislation should be applied. Adjustments need to be made to help the employee perform their role. Larger chairs and uniforms are only two examples.
The court’s ruling would affect all nations in the European Union. In the Danish case Kaltoft had asked for compensation equivalent to 15 months’ salary for his dismissal. The solution of the European court is supposed to help improve working conditions for a growing portion of Europe’s workforce, and to serve as a model for addressing the obesity problem worldwide.