Employement Issues For Me A Diabetic

By Davelenn Latest Reply 2008-10-26 01:38:32 -0500
Started 2008-10-25 15:50:24 -0500

I work at a fast food restaurant. I am also Type2 diabetic and am supposed to be on Metformin. I though have been keeping my diet pretty well under control. Today at work, we were very busy, and I was walking alot, and making products. Well, I became hypoglcemic. I went and grabbed a small cup of Orange Juice and drank that rapidly. I went back to work and since I suffer from panic attacks, I began having one, which I am sure made the hypoglycemia worse. I went and told my shift manager about drinking the orange juice, and she was OK with it. Approx. 10 minutes later the feeling of hypoglycemia had not subsided. I went and told the shift manager that I needed to go on break ASAP, because I HAD to eat. She told me that I could in approx. 20 minues, when the person who was on break before me, returned. I went on back to work. The manager was informed of my condition by the shift manager. The manager came back and told me that I was not going to be able to go on break when the other person returned and I had to do something else, like eating candy. I went and had another larger glass of orange juice and ate several cookies. Shortly thereafter my feeling of hypoglycemia diminshed. I was able to continue working with no ill effects. Approx. 1 hour later I was sent on break and was able to eat. I apologze for the long post, but I was curious if they can still force me to work when I am in that situation? If they cant how to do I bring the subject up to my manger? She knows I am Type 2 diabetic as do most employees do as well.

2 replies

Anonymous 2008-10-26 01:38:32 -0500 Report

I would also get a note from your doctor explaining the importance of eating and make sure you discuss it with all of your bosses. And try and have some sort of hard candy or glucose tablets in your pocket at all times.

enigmalady777 2008-10-25 16:04:25 -0500 Report

The American Diabetes Association has an entire section on Employment Discrimination, the ADAAA and other related issues.

This link is particularly relevant:

Take note of the following section in particular:

Accommodating Employees with Diabetes

The ADA requires employers to provide adjustments or modifications to enable people with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities unless doing so would be an undue hardship (i.e., a significant difficulty or expense). Accommodations vary depending on the needs of the individual with a disability. Not all employees with diabetes will need an accommodation or require the same accommodation.

8. What types of reasonable accommodations may employees with diabetes need?

Some employees may need one or more of the following accommodations:

* a private area to test blood sugar levels or to take insulin
* a place to rest until blood sugar levels become normal(6)
* breaks to eat or drink, take medication, or test blood sugar levels

Example: A manufacturing plant requires employees to work an eight-hour shift with just a one-hour break for lunch. An employee with diabetes needs to eat something several times a day to keep his blood sugar levels from dropping too low. Absent undue hardship, the employer could accommodate the employee by allowing him to take two 15-minute breaks each day and letting him make up the time by coming to work 15 minutes earlier and staying 15 minutes later.

* leave for treatment, recuperation, or training on managing diabetes(7)
* modified work schedule or shift change

Example: A nurse with insulin-treated diabetes rotated from working the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift to the midnight to 8 a.m. shift. Her doctor wrote a note indicating that interferences in the nurse's sleep, eating routine, and schedule of insulin shots were making it difficult for her to manage her diabetes. Her employer eliminated her midnight rotation.

* allowing a person with diabetic neuropathy (a nerve disorder caused by diabetes) to use a stool.

Although these are some examples of the types of accommodations commonly requested by employees with diabetes, other employees may need different changes or adjustments. Employers should ask the particular employee requesting an accommodation because of his diabetes what he needs that will help him do his job. There also are extensive public and private resources to help employers identify reasonable accommodations. For example, the website for the Job Accommodation Network (http://janweb.icdi.wvu.edu/media/diabetes.html) provides information about many types of accommodations for employees with diabetes.

9. How does an employee with diabetes request a reasonable accommodation?

There are no "magic words" that a person has to use when requesting a reasonable accommodation. A person simply has to tell the employer that she needs an adjustment or change at work because of her diabetes.
Example: A custodian tells his supervisor that he recently has been diagnosed with diabetes and needs three days off to attend a class on how to manage the condition. This is a request for reasonable accommodation.

A request for a reasonable accommodation also can come from a family member, friend, health professional, or other representative on behalf of a person with diabetes. If the employer does not already know that an employee has diabetes, the employer can ask the employee for verification from a health care professional.

10. Does an employer have to grant every request for a reasonable accommodation?

No. An employer does not have to provide a reasonable accommodation if doing so will be an undue hardship. Undue hardship means that providing the reasonable accommodation would result in significant difficulty or expense. If a requested accommodation is too difficult or expensive, an employer still would be required to determine whether there is another easier or less costly accommodation that would meet the employee's needs.

11. Is it a reasonable accommodation for an employer to make sure that an employee regularly checks her blood sugar levels and eats or takes insulin as prescribed?

No. Employers have no obligation to monitor an employee to make sure that she is keeping her diabetes under control. It may be a form of reasonable accommodation, however, to allow an employee sufficient breaks to check her blood sugar levels, eat a snack, or take medication.

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