Recently, the European Court of Justice ruled that no general principle applies concerning prohibition against discrimination due to obesity but that obesity may be considered a handicap.

In July 2014, the Advocate-General suggested to the European Court of Justice how to rule in a case as to whether an employee's obesity could justify protection under the handicap concept.

In the recent ruling, the European Court of Justice followed the Advocate-General's recommendation that no general principle applies concerning prohibition against discrimination due to obesity but that obesity may be considered a handicap. 

The ruling means that obesity may not in itself result in special protection against termination. If obesity, however, results in physical or mental limitations preventing the employee from participating in the professional life on equal terms with other employees, this may, however, be considered a handicap to be protected on equal terms with discrimination due to e.g. race and sexual orientation.

contacts

Marianne Lage

Partner

Maria Schmiegelow

Attorney