A German hotel owner has introduced a new policy banning guests who weigh more than 130 kilograms from staying at the property.
Angelika Hargesheimer has been advising guests of Beachhotel Sahlenburg that the property is “not suitable” for people above 130 kilograms.
The hotel is found in the beachside town of Cuxhaven, in northern Germany’s Lower Saxony.
“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 kilograms,” a translated disclaimer on the website reads, as reported by 7 News.
According to multiple reports, Hargesheimer told a local magazine that her reasoning comes from fears that overweight guests will damage her “classic” furniture.
She added that she wants to have a “designer hotel”, so she did not want to buy sturdy furniture.
The hotel owner claims the disclaimer is not discriminatory and only came up after she was sued by an overweight guest whose bed collapsed when he was sleeping.
The man reportedly sued for damages, according to 7 News, and the case was settled out of court.
Hargesheimer reportedly said other overweight guests had struggled to get into the hotel’s showers and complained of being uncomfortable on the chairs in the breakfast area.
While the policy is seemingly weightist, experts say it does not appear to violate any rules.
Sebastian Bickerich from the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency told local newspaper Bild visitors would only be protected against discrimination if the person “reaches the threshold of a disability”.
“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),” he told the outlet.
Natalie Rosenke from the Society Against Weight Discrimination called for legislation to be brought in to protect overweight people
“Legal protection against weight discrimination is overdue,” Rosenke told Bild.
The University of Bremen’s Friedrich Schorb said that while the hotel’s policy did not break regulations, it was “humiliating” and promoted the “isolation of obese people”.