Accomodating employees with
Zackin, of counsel at law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo P. in Boston, said if an employer has a performance issue with an employee who is morbidly obese and the employee claims discrimination based on disability or obesity, “whatever issues might arise out of the obesity must be distinguished from the performance issues.”Eric E.
Kinder, a member of law firm Spilman, Thomas & Battle P.
A society which values dignity, equality and freedom, must require people to act positively to accommodate diversity.
Those steps might be as simple as granting and regulating an exemption from a general rule or they may require that the rules or practices be changed or even that buildings be altered or monetary loss incurred.
The Supreme Court of Appeals in “It would be disingenuous of anybody to deny that our society is characterised by a diversity of cultures, traditions and beliefs.
That being the case, there will always be instances where these diverse cultural and traditional beliefs and practices create challenges within our society, the workplace being no exception.
This does not imply an automatic right for people to be exempted by their beliefs from the laws of the land or the rules of an organisation / employer.
However, wherever reasonably possible and without causing undue harm, these should be accommodated.
However, the court made it clear that the importance of culture should not be minimised; and that constitutional protection also applies to voluntary (non-obligatory) religious and cultural practices.
The courts are continuously called upon to determine legal disputes which may include the interpretation of legislation and testing compliance with constitutional principles.
Although individual rights are guaranteed in the Constitution, they are not unlimited.
For example: Practical implementation The principles taken from all of the above can be summarised as follows: The organisation’s rules, standards, policies and practices may not be (directly or indirectly) unfairly discriminatory – this is an obligation placed on all employers by the Employment Equity Act.
The rules or policies themselves may even make accommodation for different religious practices, e.g. Even in faith-based organisations, reasonable tolerance of other faiths, beliefs and cultures can be expected.Employers should do what they can to accommodate obese employees, legal experts say.