Should obese people receive preferential treatment at work?
The radio station’s Breakfast crew asks if obese people deserve preferential treatment.
Many people struggle with weight issues and tomorrow (June 17), Capital FM’s Capital Breakfast with Pamela Chong and Janice Yap tread a thin line as the as they take on the thorny issue of obesity. The ladies want to know whether obesity should be classified as a disability and if those struggling with the issue should be given preferential treatment at the workplace.
The debate comes after Karsten Kaltoft, a Danish national, was fired from his work as a childminder for being too large, and now he is suing his local authority at the European Court of Justice for unlawful dismissal.
If Kaltoft wins the lawsuit, it will force employers across Europe to find ways to accommodate larger people so they are not at a disadvantage to their slimmer colleagues. This could mean larger parking bays, sturdier furniture and, more important, the right of the employee not to be dismissed for his or her weight.
However, this case has sparked mixed reactions among people. While providing benefits for obese workers would make their work more comfortable, many folks argue that it will encourage unhealthy lifestyles and promote the idea that people do not have control over their weight or appearance.
Joining the lively discussion tomorrow is US Certified Counselling Psychologist Dr. Cathie Wu who will provide a perspective on the cultural differences at the heart of the issue and ask if "anti-discrimination" laws like this do in fact increase discrimination towards those affected.
Chong and Yap will open the phone lines from 7.30am to 9am for listeners to call in and share their thoughts on this heavy topic.
For more info, tune in to Capital FM on 88.9FM in the Klang Valley and 107.6FM in Penang.