A German hotel owner has been slammed after she wrote on their website that overweight guests who weigh more than 20 stone should not stay there.
Hotelier Angelika Hargesheimer is under fire for writing on the website of her Beachhotel Sahlenburg in the beachside town of Cuxhaven in northern Germany’s Lower Saxony said that the facilities are “not suitable” for people who weigh more than 130 kilogrammes (286 lbs).
The disclaimer on the website reads: “For reasons of liability, we would like to point out that the interior is not suitable for people with a bodyweight of more than 130 kilogrammes.”
Hargesheimer told local magazine ‘buten un binnen’ that her reasoning comes from fears that overweight guests will damage her “classic” furniture, adding that she wants to have a “designer hotel” so did not want to need sturdy furniture.
She says the disclaimer is not discriminatory and came up after she was sued by an overweight guest whose bed collapsed when he was sleeping.
The man reportedly sued for damages and the case was settled out of court.
Hargesheimer said other overweight guests had struggled to get into the showers or complained of being uncomfortable on the chairs in the breakfast area.
She said she wants guests to enjoy their stay and anti-discrimination experts say the policy does not appear to violate any rules.
Sebastian Bickerich from the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency told local newspaper Bild: “Only if an overweight person reaches the threshold of a disability does protection against discrimination exist.
“Therefore, it should be difficult for those affected to take legal action against provisions such as in the hotel you described, with reference to the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).”
Natalie Rosenke from the Society Against Weight Discrimination called for legislation to be brought in to protect overweight people, telling Bild: “Legal protection against weight discrimination is overdue!”
Friedrich Schorb of the University of Bremen, said that while the hotel’s policy did not break regulations, it was “humiliating” and promoted the “isolation of obese people”.
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