Who knows if it would fly here — after all the United States does now have a much less rigid definition of disability — but in Sweden, a restaurant dishwasher qualified for disability based on his love of heavy-metal music.
According to The Local, an English-language Swedish newspaper, Roger Tullgren, 42, from southern Sweden, will receive state benefits to supplement his income since his heavy-metal addiction has dominated so much of his life, causing him to lose previous jobs.
” ‘I have been trying for ten years to get this classified as a handicap,’ ” Tullgren told The Local. ” ‘I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against.’ ”
According to the article, Tullgren skips work so he can attend rock concerts — about 300 a year. After losing his previous job, he relied on welfare, but a session with an occupational psychologist led to an assessment in which “his heavy metal lifestyle was classified as a disability.”
“The manager at his new workplace allows him to go to concerts as long as he makes up for lost time at a later point. He is also allowed to dress as he likes and listen to heavy metal while washing up.”
Well, back to reality, maybe this wouldn’t qualify as a U.S. disability, but I wouldn’t bet any money that it might not pass muster as a religion: An employee could seek accommodation for services in accordance with the Book of Black Sabbath — or whatever.