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Your rights as a diabetic in the workplace

Thousands of Texas residents are afflicted with diabetes, and many of them are active members of the workforce. As a diabetic, you are entitled to certain protections in the workplace under the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act).

Your protection under the ADA makes it illegal for you to suffer workplace discrimination and gives you certain legal options if you do experience unfair treatment on the job. Understanding your rights has further benefit in giving you a better idea of how you can fit into your work environment while managing your diabetes.

What rights do you have?

Under the ADA, you are considered a “qualified individual with a disability” if you can document your condition by proving that a doctor has diagnosed you with diabetes.

Assuming that’s the case, you cannot be denied a job based on the fact that you have diabetes unless the employer can prove that your condition would prevent you from doing the job or that it would put you or others at risk.

The ADA also requires that an employer provide you with reasonable accommodations. This can include things like:

  • Breaks to take medication or check your glucose levels
  • Storage area for medication like insulin, and ready access to food
  • A place to inject insulin and use a glucometer

The ADA also protects you from harassment at work due to your condition.

What to do if you experience discrimination

If you think you’ve faced discrimination on the job, you should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the applicable state agency.

Dealing with diabetes while working can be a challenge. But knowing your rights gives you the power to make sure your workplace accommodates your condition to the letter of the law.