Obese workers can pursue employers for humiliating, degrading or violating treatment
February 10th: Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly welcomed the decision of the Tribunal which has been made public yesterday (Monday 9th February):
“This Tribunal decision in favour of a worker employed by Randox Laboratories confirms that obesity can be considered as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act.
“The decision has followed the ruling in the Kaltoft case in respect of the definition of disability allowing obesity to be a protected trait. This decision obliges employers to protect qualifying employees from potential discrimination and to make reasonable adjustments in respect of obesity where necessary.
“The Tribunal in this case have applied these principles and found that harassment on grounds related to obesity was unlawful and actionable. This means that workers who suffer abuse on grounds related to their obesity now have the added protection of being able to pursue their employer/abuser in the Tribunal for humiliating, degrading or violating treatment. Previously such cases would likely been heard in the civil courts as a stress at work claim.
“This is the latest in a series of legal successes which Unite has been able to deliver for our members given the strength of our legal representative teams. I thank the staff of Donnelly & Kinder for their exceptional professionalism and focus on delivering for our members.”