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Disability discrimination against people with diabetes

There are a variety of illnesses and disabilities that employees in Minnesota and elsewhere need to manage in the workplace. While employers are required to accommodate the workplace for these disabilities, it can still be difficult for some employees to manage an illness at work. Some employers may want to avoid having an employee with these extra needs or accommodations, but this is considered workplace discrimination.

A recent report discussed the difficulties placed on those with diabetes. There was a time when many individuals with diabetes were denied certain jobs or positions, or even lost their jobs, because of this disease. Asking for certain accommodations related to the care and management of diabetes could mean job loss or a decrease in pay.

Diabetes often requires individuals to check their blood sugar, eat, take medication or treat their low blood sugar at anytime and anywhere. This means taking these measures to manage diabetes throughout the workday. However, if an employer does not allow an employee to take breaks to check their blood sugar, eat or take insulin, this is considered disability discrimination.

Other examples of discrimination include: not being considered for a promotion because of diabetes; being terminated due to suffering from diabetes; being told you cannot obtain a job as a driver, police officer or firefighter because you use insulin; and being told to maintain a certain blood sugar as a requirement to keep your job.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act considers diabetes as a disability, and employers are prohibited from harassing or discriminating against employees with diabetes. If you believe you are a victim of workplace discrimination or are being mistreated because you have diabetes, you might want to consider you legal recourses. Filing a claim could help end the harassment.

Source: Health.usnews.com, "How to Manage Diabetes at Work," Gina Gavlak, Oct. 21, 2015

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