Workers compensation claims aren’t always straightforward — and, in fact, they seem to grow vastly more complicated as time goes on. The recent sacking of Australian miner Jamie Bray definitely sets a precedent in his country. Will it start discussions in the U.S.? Here’s what happened and why it’s important:

Miner Fired For Being Fat

Workers compensation laws protect about 125.8 million U.S. employees. Workers compensation generally covers 100% of healthcare costs resulting from work-related injuries or employees getting hurt at work. But where do employers and governments draw the line? In Australia, mining company Peak Downs made the judgement call that is was no longer worth it to pay for Bray’s workers compensation benefits — and so far there has been no legal backfire about the decision. Bray had been receiving paid time off for over two years to address psychological ills and his weight before he was fired. All of this came after the company denied Bray’s request for an in-office position and a psychiatrist deemed Bray to be in much better mental health.

Can This Happen In The U.S.?

When things like this happen, questions follow — and, of course, a lot of people are asking workers compensation attorneys whether this could happen here. Although it is always best to seek legal counsel for non-traditional workers compensation claims (e.g., claims relating to mental health or obesity), the answer is that it’s not likely. The American Medical Association (AMA) officially classified obesity as a disease two years ago in 2013, and that means U.S. employers must treat it as such. While it may be difficult to prove that weight gain is work-related (directly or indirectly), workers can rest assured that it is highly unlikely — and perhaps even unlawful — for them to be dismissed or fired for their weight.

Workers compensation costs break down as follows: 70% goes to lost wages and 30% goes to benefits. Overweight workers may be eligible for these benefits in special circumstances. Even if they are not, their weight is unlikely to affect their employment status.