UnNews:European Court: Fat is a disability

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European Court: Fat is a disability

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20 December 2014


Would you buy a used car from this man? (If you say no, you may be breaking European Law.)

BOLOGNA, France -- Europe's highest court has ruled that being fat "can constitute a disability." The ruling means that employers will have to give workers larger seats, special parking spaces next to a winch, and all-you-can-eat deals at the company cafeteria. Also, membership in an after-work dating club where everyone must ignore unattractiveness.

Even though "disabled" implies that someone else removed an ability, the Court ruled that obesity is a "disability" under Europe's Equality Directive — even when the disabled person disabled himself, by being unable to push away from the buffet.

Danish babysitter Karsten Kaltoft brought the case, saying he was sacked for being too fat, and not for the fact that he kept falling through the floorboards at the homes of clients. Kaltoft now drives a truck for a company that has made special accommodations, notably to carve out a large space in the refrigerated semi-trailer because his sprawling bulk cannot fit in the cab.

Equaliser-General Vanessa Di Cuffa argued before the court that "It would run counter to the aim of the directive if its application depended on the origin of the disability.” As the "aim" was to pander to fatties, she said the Court must ignore whether the disabled person disabled himself.

Law partner Julian Hemming said, "This ruling is a real problem for employers. They can't be sure they’re on the right side of the law," especially as the Court did not define, such as with Body Mass Index, who is obese. Fortunately, knowing what the law is before one breaks it is not a tenet of European justice. And, as Europe has no American-style Constitution that would rule out such laws entirely, Europe wastes no time figuring out ways to evade it as the U.S. does.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron scoffed at the idea that the ruling would spur some rash groundswell to pull the U.K. out of the European Union entirely. Michael Moore, director of the Oscar-winning documentary about McDonald's, I'm Thirty Stone and It's Your Fault, said it was about time corporations got their come-uppance. But science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut briefly stopped spinning in his grave and said, "I told you so."

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