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The IBA’s response to the war in Ukraine
30 Oct - 4 Nov 2022
Room 232, Level 2
Wednesday 2 November (1615 - 1730)
Diversity and Equality Law Committee
DiversityInclusionObesity is a health risk that a majority of the population across the world is facing. As per the WHO, obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, and the obesity numbers have nearly tripled since 1975. At the same time data from the US suggests that weight stigma and discrimination has been increasing. Obesity discrimination has many negative effects on the mental wellbeing and prosperity of the affected people and there have been several reports in the US indicating a ‘wage penalty’ on people being overweight or obese.
In December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for the first time addressed the question whether it is contrary to EU law to dismiss an employee on grounds of obesity. The CJEU stated that EU law does not lay down a general principle of non-discrimination on grounds of obesity as such. Obesity may, however, under certain conditions constitute a disability within the meaning of the Employment Equality Directive. This case was finally decided by the Danish High Court in November 2020. Several other jurisdictions, including the United States, have jurisprudence developing on this issue and reports suggest that employees are increasingly claiming discrimination based on obesity in the workplace, e.g. in recruitment and redundancy processes. Only a few jurisdictions have, however, implemented anti-weight discrimination regulations.
But what kind of legal protection is needed to adequately protect employees against discrimination on grounds of obesity? Is there a need for more focus on the prevention of weight stigma and discrimination in the Diversity & Inclusion strategies in the workplaces. And is there a possibility or need for an affirmative action policy/obligation for employers towards persons being obese?
|Yvonne Frederiksen LL.M.||Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen, Denmark; Co-Chair, Disability Rights Working Group|
|Ajay Singh Solanki||AZB & Partners, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India; Co-Chair, Disability Rights Working Group|
|Rocio Blanco Garcia||Littler Mendelson PC, Miami, Florida, USA|
|Jacqueline Chamberlain||Brand Institute Inc, Miami, Florida, USA|
|Keith Corkan||Woodfines Solicitors, Milton Keynes, England|
|Ignacio Funes de Rioja||Bruchou & Funes De Rioja , Buenos Aires, Argentina; Vice Chair, Global Employment Institute (GEI)|
|Sophie Marinier MRS||LPA-CGR avocats, Paris, France|