Brisbane man 'fired for being too fat'

Posted By: Staff
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Melbourne, May 19 (ANI): A Brisbane man has claimed that he was sacked from his factory job for being morbidly obese and has lashed back at his former employers.

According to, Lance Pedersen, 57, was fired from his job at Golden Circle's Northgate factory on Monday after he was deemed unfit to perform duties which he says were not part of his initial job description, The Courier-Mail reports.

"It pretty well shattered me; it's turned my life upside down. My partner and I have got a mortgage . . . it's hard to survive on just one wage," quoted Pedersen as saying.

Pedersen, a forklift worker, who says he has lost 8kg in recent times, was told he would be moved to work on the beverage line to pack and monitor drinks when workers took their lunch breaks.

But after undergoing the company's medical test, he has been declared unfit, reasons being obesity and severe osteoarthritis of the knees.

Mr Pedersen, who spent 14 years with the company, has filed for unfair dismissal with Fair Work Australia, claiming his employer gave him no warnings about his health, which had never been a problem before.

"He's more than capable of doing the job he was originally employed to do, in fact he could do it tonight.

"He's got a report from his own GP, who says he is well aware of his condition and he is more than capable of doing the job he's been employed to do," said Duncan Pegg, The National Union of Workers organiser.

A spokesman for Heinz Australia, which owns Golden Circle, explained that the company had to look after their employees' health and so couldn't let Pederson work at the plant anymore.

Pederson on the other hand has argued that if he's let off the hook on medical grounds, no other company would be ready to employ him in the first place.

"If I went to another place to seek employment I'd have to disclose that Golden Circle put me off on medical grounds. As soon as you say that, the other place will just say: sorry, we don't need you." (ANI)

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