Diabetes and Discrimination

By Latest Reply 2010-03-23 15:43:07 -0500
Started 2010-02-15 11:30:47 -0600

I went to a job interview. Yes I was over qualified but my bills could care less-as long as I pay them on time with some kind of job. Then the question came out onto the table. "I see your medical alert bracelet-do you have a problem?" My first thought was to say yes , you for asking that question (but I didn't) so I replied- i have Diabetes. The interviewer says, " Is that going to be a problem- because we ain't set up for that kind of thing here" Before I could correct her english I just replied "No, it has never been a problem before as long as I eat on time each day" She looks out the corner of her eye and says, " well, we don't go to lunch the same time everyday around here-you could be a problem"

I left thinking well D@#$, I have never had anyone give me grief about being a diabetic, Being a woman, being over a size 10, being from the North but never for being a diabetic.
Has anyone else gone through this?
Am I going to have to hide my bracelet or wear long sleeve shirts now?

38 replies

Deborah L
Deborah L 2010-02-16 19:21:00 -0600 Report

Here's one of many websites that will help you understand about interviews and disclosing information about disabilities. The ADA sight is also excellent for this information. If you volunteer information about having a disability, the interviewer can then ask anything they want about it if it relates to you being able to do the job. There are alot of laws about this and it can help to learn about them.
I'm going to be facing this same situation since I haven't been able to work for over 4 years and will soon be trying to find part time work. Fortunately vocational rehab is helping by sending me to an agency that specializes in this and will teach me how to interview. Good luck to you.


GabbyPA 2010-03-23 09:18:39 -0500 Report

This is a great link. I know I have been looking for work for a long time and now that I have diabetes, I can't seem to land a job at all. Though it could be more about the economy....they don't want to insure someone with diabetes either.

UNA 2010-02-16 15:46:22 -0600 Report

I am sitting here reading this as well as blown away. While I have never been asked about this as an issue, this really concern me. Also I do keep back up insulin in the break room fridge at work. My supervisor was having a fit one day because my pump and sensor were going off alerting me to low blood sugar. He was like what is that noise, it sounds like you have a bomb atttached to your body (lol). I got up and went to the bathroom to see what the problem was. I agree with what someone wrote earlier, I would not want to work for that company but at the sametime, I know what it is like to be out of job and have no insurance. I want to thank everyone about how to find information on violation of one's rights.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-03-23 09:59:10 -0500 Report

This reminds me of a hearing aid "screetching"—eeeehhheheh—-it does get on one's nerves, especially since the person wearing it usually can't tell he is the "culprit"—-you love the person and try to be patient, but that noise is simply irritating—as is snoring—etc——or any other grating, long lasting noise——lol

cc9 2010-02-16 08:46:48 -0600 Report

soms, my ex boss had issues with me about my diabetes. i never had problems previously with any of my employers. i think you would be unhappy to work there with such an uncaring person. even the languaging which was used "you could be a problem" wtf!!!! and yes you have rights and wear a id necklace and make sure its long enough that noone can see what it says but at the same time gives you the insurance in case of emergency. the right job will come up for you.

2010-02-16 15:07:19 -0600 Report

@cc9, I figured last night that I am not going to go out of my way to hide my bracelet, its only my business until they give me a job offer on paper. At one time I would have begged for that job, but I am too darn old for that foolishness now..lol. I can and will be more selective…to a certain point- still have to pay bills,lolol

Roy531 2010-02-16 15:12:36 -0600 Report

Shouldn't have to hide the bracelet. I have had people see my bracelet and say I need one of those where did you get it

2010-02-16 15:17:03 -0600 Report

Roy, i went to Walgreens and the cashier kept trying to sell me candy bars at the counter while I was checking out..I said no twice and she was still trying..finally I whipped out "The Mighty Bracelet" hahaha and she finally hushed. That bracelet packs more power than i thought..hahaha.

cc9 2010-02-16 19:33:21 -0600 Report

yeah soms. if you have to hide who you are, its putting you on the back foot. i know bills! damn i am in the same boat. and my landlord just raised my rent by $50 a week.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-03-23 10:02:15 -0500 Report

Can a landlord do that without making improvements etc? I have had 2 rentals for 30 years and never raise the rent without a good reason, such as remodeling, and I do that in between clients—-That always seemed the fairest way to me. PR

Danni-the-diabetic 2010-02-15 19:58:30 -0600 Report

That shit pisses me off, I am sorry to hear that. I don't wear a bracelet, but when my last job found out they kind of freaked a little. People discriminate against everything it seems like. When I was last fired from my last job I know it was discrimination, but not for being diabetic - but still! I know it's not what you want to hear, but it's better not to work for people like that.

2010-02-15 20:26:07 -0600 Report

Thats what I am thinking. Starting off with a bad first impression just doesn't sound good to me. Now that I have read the information Roy showed me, I am better prepared for my interviews.

giojuju 2010-02-15 17:00:39 -0600 Report

d!@# that makes me mad, n every one is rite u can sue for discrimination. when i workd my employer didnt have a problem with it but the employees did they thought i was given special rites for being diabetic, but that didnt let me down i was doing my job and more and thats all, besides if i was doing my work y did they care and my employer was happy with it. had no problem with my diabetis what else can they do?

sweething 2010-02-15 14:40:20 -0600 Report

This is discrimination against those with disabilities, if that is the reason you are not hired. The EOC needs a call!

Roy531 2010-02-15 12:35:20 -0600 Report

Refer them to the American Disabilities Act, we being diabetics are classified as disabled, and they can get into trouble for refusing to give you a job because you are diabetic.

Roy531 2010-02-15 12:42:11 -0600 Report

That is assuming you live in the US Should have asked them to put it in writing so you could show it to the ADA

2010-02-15 13:33:59 -0600 Report

I do live in the US. The job is in a little town where 80% of the people do not have HS Diplomas. Thank goodness I do not live there ( I'm just trying to find employment) But really, if they have that attitude-would I really want to work there anyway? They would find a reason to let me go the first time I had a low sugar day…pfft.

Roy, I think that I need to brush up on my rights as a diabetic. I was caught off guard- I never had anyone or group give me a hard time about my condition. Dating yes, but work?

Waltznfool 2010-03-23 15:43:07 -0500 Report

Shoot…I would report it, doesn't have anything to do with being vengeful. I promise they will stop doing that when you hit them where it counts…in the pocket book!


Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-02-15 12:28:25 -0600 Report

What they just did is illegel as hell. You could really get them for it.

2010-02-15 13:44:02 -0600 Report

Jeannie, I was in shock when I left…I have dumbed down my resume so I can get interviews- which is how I got my last job and I know how to work around the academics I have but darnnnn…I never had to defend my "bracelet" before.

Roy saids diabetes is considered a disability- I had no idea. I try not to make a big deal of it..my last job didn't but I wasn't DX until 3 yrs after I started there.
I need to find out about this issue and become better educated before my next interview.

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-02-15 17:47:01 -0600 Report

I totally understand where you are coming from. I've been really lucky with my job. I've been there for 20 years and so far they love me and do everything they can to help with my medical problems. If I had to go looking for a job in this climate I would probably hid the braclet also. Most employers are smart enough not to say anything to your face, but that doesn't mean they will hire you either.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-03-23 10:07:37 -0500 Report

You know, this having to "dumb down" is pathetic, but I have done it in order to try and feel more accepted—no one likes the straight A student, etc, and that mentality seems to continue on thru life, I think, " jealousy" enters into the equation. Sad—My diagnosis came after I left the work force, but my daughter-iin-law became one and is still repsected in her place of employment—she just lays her meter out onto the conference table—and does her thing——and is accepted and resprected, even promoted—-lol—PR

donna13 2010-02-15 11:37:08 -0600 Report

Since I am very realistic, I would say that you probably will have to hide it. It seems to be sending up a red flag. It isn't right or fair, but I think maybe you will be avoiding problems.

donna13 2010-02-15 14:48:09 -0600 Report

I think you need to do what is best for you. All of the answers here are good, and you probably have a discrimination suit here. But if I read you correctly, you need a job. In my opinion, that should be your first priority. I don't think you want to work at this place, and maybe reporting them would help you get peace of mind. But I still think first things first.