Rights of employees who have diabetes

| Oct 28, 2015 | Employee Rights |

Many people in California have diabetes, and they may be unaware that their employers are prohibited from discriminating against them due to their illness. By understanding their rights, diabetic workers may be better equipped to recognize discriminatory behavior when they are subjected to it.

Because diabetes has a huge impact on the functioning of the endocrine system, it is considered to be a disability. The Americans with Disability Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 forbid employers from discriminating against workers due to disabling conditions, including diabetes. This prohibition extends to all work-related actions, including hiring, layoffs, firing, promotions, pay and other matters.

Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations to people who have diabetes. However, the impetus is on the employee to request the needed accommodations. These may include such things as being able to take breaks to eat when necessary, using insulin at work, breaks to go to the bathroom or test blood sugar and to store food and diabetes supplies close by. Additionally, employers are supposed to allow workers to leave work without penalty for diabetes management appointments, to work standard shifts in lieu of swing shifts, to use a chair instead of standing and to have a large screen for their computers if they have diabetes-related vision problems.

It is unfortunate that disability discrimination occurs, but it does happen in some California workplaces. People who have been fired from or denied a job due to their diabetes may want to contact an employment law attorney. Similarly, they may want to seek help if their employer refuses to provide reasonable accommodations at their jobs as described. An attorney may help clients get the accommodations they need in place.


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