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Is Diabetes A Protected Disability?

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Workplace Rights

Living with type 2 diabetes is hard enough. But what if your condition affects your work or the way people treat you there? Learn about your employment rights as someone with diabetes. Diabetes is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law applies to any employer in the United States that has 15 employees or more. It also applies to: labor organizations joint labor-management committees employment agencies all state and local government employers If you’re employed by or applying for a job with one of these organizations, the ADA protects you from discrimination. An employer can’t refuse to hire you based solely on your diabetes. In fact, you don’t even have a legal obligation to tell a prospective employer about your condition. Once you’ve been hired, the ADA also requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodations. These include changes to your workplace or routine that can help you to manage your condition. You may also be protected under the Rehabilitation Act if you’re federally employed. Depending on where you live, additional state laws may cover smaller employers or offer broader protections. In most cases, an employer can’t use your diabetes as a reason: not to hire you not to promote you to fire you The only exception is if your condition poses a direct threat to your health or safety or those of others. For example, do you frequently experience hypoglycemic episodes that could interfere with your duties? These episodes might incapacitate you while you’re operating heavy machinery. This could put your life at risk. In this case, an employer has the right not to hire you for a role that requires you to operate that machinery. Once you’ve received a job offer, you’re subject to the same medical req Continue reading >>

Protection From Diabetes Work Discrimination

Protection From Diabetes Work Discrimination

Part 3 in a 4-part series The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 was forced to undergo an overhaul after its shortcomings were exposed in a lawsuit (Sutton v. United Airlines) over whether bespectacled pilots were considered disabled. In the Supreme Court ruling on that lawsuit, diabetes was brought up as a key stress test for the law, as we examined in a previous article in this series. With the Supreme Court’s feedback in hand, regulators realized they needed to rework the law in general, as well as specifically address workplace discrimination protection for people with diabetes. With the active participation of the American Diabetes Association, the 101st Congress overhauled the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008, adding language to better address the complications of diabetes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) then overhauled its regulations and its enforcement and compliance guidelines for employers. The new regulations more clearly defined the need for protection from workplace discrimination for several complications of living with diabetes, including: eyesight problems, diminished feeling in hands and feet, and the need to take time to test, administer insulin, or have a snack. It then offered the best of both worlds in legal protection for people with diabetes. First, it clarified that even if a person with diabetes can successfully navigate the condition with medication, it doesn’t mean diabetes stops being a “disability” that deserves legal protection. Second, it states that having to deal with diabetes shouldn’t necessarily disqualify someone from performing the essential functions of the job. In other words, people with diabetes should not be disqualified from being hired just because they have diabetes, but they should Continue reading >>

Disability Discrimination: Is Type 2 Diabetes A Disability?

Disability Discrimination: Is Type 2 Diabetes A Disability?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently considered whether type 2 diabetes was a 'progressive condition' and therefore covered by disability discrimination law. The legal framework Under the Equality Act 2010 (the 'Act'), a person can only claim disability discrimination if they can show that they are 'disabled'. Under the Act there is a legal definition of disability which provides that a person has a disability if they have, 'a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.' Individuals suffering from conditions that are deemed to be progressive in nature (that is likely to get worse overtime) may still satisfy the definition of disability if they can show that their condition causes an impairment that has some impact on their ability to carry out day to day activities and that it is likely that the condition will result in future substantial adverse effects. In 2009 the Supreme Court held that 'likely' in this context meant 'could well happen'. In an earlier case, Metroline Travel Limited v Stoute, the EAT held that an individual suffering from type 2 diabetes capable of being controlled through an abstinence of sugary drinks was not disabled. The facts In Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Ltd, the claimant had been dismissed in November 2013 by reason of incapacity or misconduct. Following his dismissal the claimant alleged that he had been suffering from a disability (type 2 diabetes) for a period of nearly 12 months prior to the dismissal. He claimed unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. The employer obtained a report from a physician with a particular interest in diabetes. The questions posed to him and the information provided largely related t Continue reading >>

Ada: The 10 Most Common Disabilities And How To Accommodate

Ada: The 10 Most Common Disabilities And How To Accommodate

ADA: The 10 Most Common Disabilities and How to Accommodate LegalBrief Law Journal Issue 2, Article 3 cite as: Norman H. Kirshman & Roger L. Grandgenett II, ADA: The 10 Most Common Disabilities and How to Accommodate, 2 LegalBrief L.J. 3, par. # (1997) Continue reading >>

Diabetes Disability Discrimination

Diabetes Disability Discrimination

Employment Law Attorneys Serving Workers in New York City Diabetes can be a crippling medical condition. It limits the endocrine system, which may have serious consequences. Sometimes people who suffer from diabetes face employment discrimination. Employees with diabetes of any type are considered individuals with disabilities who are protected against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA considers a disability a physical or mental impairment that substantially restricts one or more major life activities. If you experience discrimination based on a health condition like diabetes, you may have recourse under the ADA as well as state and local laws. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City disability discrimination lawyers can advise you about your possible options. Holding an Employer Liable for Disability Discrimination Based on Diabetes If you have diabetes, you are protected from discrimination in the workplace. This means that an employer cannot take adverse employment actions on the basis of your diabetes. For example, it cannot terminate you, fail to hire you, or refuse to promote you because you have diabetes. It cannot discriminate against you in connection with any health insurance it provides to employees. Moreover, your employer must provide you with any reasonable accommodations you need in order to perform essential job tasks. A reasonable accommodation is a change or adjustment to your job that allows you to do your job in spite of your diabetes. You need to request a reasonable accommodation in order to obtain it, but an employer is prohibited from discriminating against you because of your request. Reasonable accommodations for diabetes may include breaks to check blood glucose levels or take medication, a private are Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes Covered Under The Americans With Disabilities Act (ada)?

Is Diabetes Covered Under The Americans With Disabilities Act (ada)?

As a woman with diabetes, you should be aware of how you/your disability (diabetes) are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This varies based on your specific circumstances. The good news is that the you are more likely to be covered under the ADA since it was amended by Congress in 2008. In the past, diabetes often was not accepted as a disability under the ADA. However, Congress has made it clear now that it wants a much broader range of disabilities to be covered under the ADA. Congress wants the ADA to apply to most if not all conditions generally considered disabilities to the general public. While the three part ADA definition of a disability has not changed, the recent amendments modified the meanings of phrases used in the definition. The ADA definition of disability is: (1) Disability.--The term 'disability' means, with respect to an individual-- (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment. Specifically, the amendments to the ADA require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to change their regulations 1) from a strict narrow interpretation of “substantially limits” to a broader more inclusive concept, 2) to prohibit the consideration of most mitigating factors when determining whether a disability is covered under the ADA, 3) to expand the definition of major life activities, 4) to assume that a condition is active even if a condition is currently or sometimes in remission and 5) to allow people that do not have a disability but are merely considered to have a disability to be covered under the ADA without having to show any limits to life activity. These are discussed below in m Continue reading >>

Is Someone With Type 1 Diabetes “disabled”?

Is Someone With Type 1 Diabetes “disabled”?

I have never been one to feel limited by monikers or labels. I am a woman, I am an athlete, I am diabetic, I am a sister, I am a friend, and I am disabled. None of those terms define me, but they are an authentic representation of who I am. The epithet in that list that might have surprised you (especially if you have seen me at work as a professional skier) is “disabled.” Now, I know what many of you are thinking. It goes something along the lines of, “My child with diabetes is not disabled,” or “I do not want to be viewed as disabled.” I have some news for you: if you have Type 1 diabetes, you are disabled. Now before you jump all over me, let explain few things about disability to you. I promise, I do not mean to marginalize you or the diabetes community by calling those with Type 1 diabetes “disabled.” Here is the thing, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act “An individual with a disability is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or a person who has a history or record of such an impairment.” When a person’s pancreas doesn’t make insulin, the person’s body is unable to convert glucose into useable energy without exogenous insulin. Useable energy is required to live. Failure to thrive due to an organ not producing a hormone required to sustain life is a “physical impairment that substantially limits” the major life activity of living. If this isn’t enough to convince you that diabetes is a disability covered under the ADA, let’s take a look at the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which explicitly names diabetes as a disability covered by the ADA. Simply put by the Department of Justice, “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil righ Continue reading >>

Uk Update – Type 2 Diabetes Controlled By Diet Is Not Automatically A Disability

Uk Update – Type 2 Diabetes Controlled By Diet Is Not Automatically A Disability

This post was written by David Ashmore and Amy Treppass. In Metroline Travel v Stoute, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) decided that employees with type 2 diabetes controlled by diet (rather than medication) are not automatically protected by disability discrimination legislation. The Facts Mr Stoute was employed by Metroline and worked for them as a bus driver for 21 years. He suffered from type 2 diabetes. To keep his blood sugar levels low, he followed a low sugar diabetic diet which mainly consisted of avoiding soft drinks. On 11 March 2013, he arrived late at work and was dismissed for gross misconduct. He claimed that his late arrival at work was the result of diarrhoea, which was a consequence of his diabetes. Mr Stoute brought claims against Metroline of unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability, and failure to make reasonable adjustments. A preliminary hearing took place to determine if type 2 diabetes meant that he was disabled under the Equality Act 2010. The Employment Tribunal (“ET”) referred to a medical report where it was noted that for two periods of time, Mr Stoute was not taking medication which reduces blood sugar levels, but was following a controlled diet. In rendering its decision, the ET had regard to guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the definition of disability. The guidance provides that if a person suffers from an impairment and is undergoing treatment or correction for that impairment, then the impairment is to be treated as having a substantial adverse effect if, without the treatment or correction, the impairment was likely to have that effect. The ET decided that a controlled diet amounted to treatment or correction of an impairment, and that Mr Stoute was disabled within the meaning of Continue reading >>

Diabetes At Work: How To Avoid Disability Discrimination

Diabetes At Work: How To Avoid Disability Discrimination

Diabetes will increasingly present a challenge at work as the number of people with the condition rises and more employees could be viewed as disabled. Akshay Choudhry, an associate at Burges Salmon, considers the implications. According to NHS Choices, 3.9 million people in the UK now suffer from diabetes. By 2025, this figure is expected to rise to five million; equating to more than 1 in 13 people. As it grows as a public health threat, diabetes at work will increasingly present a challenge as more employees could be viewed as disabled As many will know, there are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. It is the latter type that is on the rise due to its link with lifestyle factors such as obesity and unhealthy diets. While the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided last year, in Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening, that obesity itself is not a protected characteristic for the purposes of discrimination, its consequential effects – such as type 2 diabetes – can amount to a disability. Diabetes and disability discrimination resources While a diagnosis of diabetes does not automatically mean that an individual is disabled, those with the condition may qualify as disabled under the Equality Act if they meet the statutory test. In essence, it is the degree to which the diabetes impacts on the employee’s ability to carry out their day-to-day activities that determines whether or not they are afforded protection. Applying the disability test to diabetes The Act, which is supported by guidance on what can be taken into account in determining disability (the guidance), suggests that when determining whether or not the test of disability is met: if a condition is treated or corrected, the effect of that treatment or correction should be ignored when ass Continue reading >>

Do You Consider Diabetes To Be A Disability?

Do You Consider Diabetes To Be A Disability?

We asked the Diabetes Community “Do you consider diabetes to be a disability”. Here’s what they had to say. Danielle Watson: Bowers No, I do not. In 34 years, the only times diabetes has kept me from doing things I want to do in life have been the times I did not take care of it. JeVonda Flint: No, not at all. Definitely not overall. People may have complications from Type 1 that cause them to be disabled, but I don’t consider myself disabled just because I have it. I teach full time and work a part time job too and never miss work for diabetes Jessica Marie Mittasch: Yes and no. Yes, because it does inhibit some of your daily life. Even a job asks if you have any disabilities and have listed diabetes as one. If people around us don’t give us leniency to take care of ourselves, we get sick or hospitalized etc. I recommend reading the following: Lauren DuBois: Even well-controlled diabetics can be faced with complications. There is a lot of shame and stigma in the diabetes community regarding this, and I can’t help myself from commenting! After 15 years, up to 80% of T1 diabetics will show some signs of diabetic retinopathy (the leading cause for blindness among working-age adults), and it’s not always split by those that did and didn’t care for themselves! Thanks for reading. Jessica Marie Mittasch: I agree. I have retinopathy and I was well controlled for a while before it happened. I probably should have worded my comment better. Amy Headrick: I think it depends on the person. I didn’t for the longest, but as I get older I see how it’s become one. I’ve lost multiple jobs due to complications with diabetes. I require extra time and unlimited breaks because of diabetes. Laura Hellings-Kinkead: No I don’t and I cannot understand why it would be un Continue reading >>

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act?

Is Diabetes A Disability Under The Americans With Disabilities Act?

Is diabetes a disability? Do diabetic employees have any protection in the workplace? Does an employer have any obligation to its employee who have diabetes? Millions of Americans live with diabetes—a disorder caused by the body’s inability to produce or use insulin. While diabetes can be managed and those affected can still lead normal lives, the disorder is still a disability and diabetic employees cannot be discriminated against because of their condition. In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which protects employees from being discriminated against because of their disability. This means that an employer cannot discriminate against a qualified individual on the basis of his disability when it comes to hiring, firing, promotion, and pay. So, an employer cannot deny job benefits to a disabled employee or create tests that screen out otherwise qualified but disabled individuals. The ADA also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees so that they can perform their jobs. The ADA covers employers with fifteen or more employees, and, like most federal employment statutes, only applies to employees and not independent contractors. An employee is an individual that the employer has the right to control. If an employee believes that he has been discriminated against on the basis of his disability, he must show that he has a disability as defined by the ADA, that he was otherwise qualified for the position, and that his employer failed to make a reasonable accommodation. To qualify as a disability, diabetes must be a physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines a physical impairment as “any physiological disorder or condition, Continue reading >>

Social Security Disability For Diabetes (type I Or Type Ii)

Social Security Disability For Diabetes (type I Or Type Ii)

Diabetes happens when the body doesn't produce enough insulin to process glucose. Diabetes can often be controlled with treatment -- a combination of medication and diet. As a person gets older, sometimes diabetes can't be controlled, and then it can cause damage to internal organs and other problems. Symptoms and Complications of Adult Diabetes Symptoms of both diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2 include frequent urination, unusual thirst and hunger, and extreme fatigue. People with type 2 diabetes also can suffer from tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, frequent infections, and cuts that are slow to heal. Complications from diabetes include: retinopathy (eye and vision problems) nephropathy (kidney disease) neuropathy (nerve damage) in feet or hands that disrupts your ability to stand, walk, or use your hands hypertension (high blood pressure) gastroparesis (a type of nerve damage that interferes with digestion) peripheral arterial disease (reduced blood flow to your limbs) cellulitis (skin infections), and Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Diabetes If you have uncontrolled diabetes and you have been prevented from working for at least 12 months, or you expect that you won't be able to work for at least 12 months, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability (SSDI/SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. But to qualify for disability benefits, the damage caused by your diabetes must severely limit what you can do, or you must have complications that fulfill the requirements of one of Social Security's disability listings. If your diabetes is uncontrolled because you don't follow your doctor's prescribed treatment, you won't be eligible for disability. For more information, see our article on failing to comply with treatmen Continue reading >>

Employees With Diabetes Are Protected By California Law

Employees With Diabetes Are Protected By California Law

Employees with diabetes are protected by California law On behalf of The Armstrong Law Firm posted in Disability Discrimination on Thursday, July 10, 2014. Many people know about the protections afforded to disabled employees by acts such as the ADA and the FEHA. What may be less common knowledge is just how many conditions are viewed as disabilities and are thus protected by the acts. You might think of a disabled employee as someone who is in a wheelchair, or someone who suffers from a mental disorder, but according to a recent case, physical conditions such as Type II Diabetes are protected as well. This lesson is costing Walgreens almost $200,000. In 2008, a South San Francisco Walgreens employee consumed a bag of chips worth $1.39 without paying for them first. When a security officer approached her about the incident, she simply wrote a short message informing him that her sugar was low, and that she didnt have time to pay for them because she was suffering a hypoglycemic attack. Walgreens fired her for the chips theft, despite knowing for over 10 years that she was diabetic. She had been employed by Walgreens for 18 years. Though the employee was fired back in 2008, Walgreens just recently agreed to settle the case by paying $180,000 to the former long-term employee. Walgreens has also agreed to post a revised accommodation policy for disabled employees as well as provide training in anti-discrimination. While its encouraging to know that Walgreens is taking measures to rectify the problem, its even more encouraging to know that they were held accountable for their actions. This is yet another instance of the protections afforded to employees in California. If you have a disability of any kind and you believe your rights were violated by your employer, you may b Continue reading >>

Employment And Diabetes

Employment And Diabetes

Whether you're taking your first step onto the job ladder or looking to change jobs, it's important to show recruiters that you're the best person for the job, regardless of your diabetes. This guidance focuses on employment equality law, applying for jobs and managing diabetes. The Equality Act 2010 This applies in England, Wales and Scotland. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 applies in Northern Ireland. The legislation sets out the principles that employers should follow in their treatment of employees and job applicants with a disability. Although you may not consider yourself to have a disability, workers with diabetes will often be protected by the provisions in the Act. Applying for jobs It is unlawful for an employer to operate a blanket ban on recruitment of people with diabetes. Some jobs involving safety-critical work will have legitimate health requirements that may exclude some people with certain medical conditions, including diabetes. Following extensive campaigning by Diabetes UK, the blanket bans have been lifted in the emergency services for people with Type 1 diabetes and people with Type 2 diabetes who use insulin. Decisions made on someone’s suitability for employment in these services should be made by a process of individual assessment. Recruitment and retention of people with diabetes in the police, fire and ambulance services should now be subject to individual medical assessment. However the UK armed forces are exempt from the Equality Act and can operate a blanket ban on the recruitment of people with diabetes. In some NHS Ambulance Trusts, there are still restrictions in place on people with diabetes who wish to be ambulance crew. These restrictions are being challenged. You may find that if you develop diabetes while in employment, yo Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Employment

Diabetes And Employment

As of 2007, approximately 23.6 million Americans have diabetes (1), most of whom are or wish to be participating members of the workforce. Diabetes usually has no impact on an individual's ability to do a particular job, and indeed an employer may not even know that a given employee has diabetes. In 1984, the American Diabetes Association adopted the following position on employment: Any person with diabetes, whether insulin [treated] or non–insulin [treated], should be eligible for any employment for which he/she is otherwise qualified. Questions are sometimes raised by employers about the safety and effectiveness of individuals with diabetes in a given job. When such questions are legitimately raised, a person with diabetes should be individually assessed to determine whether or not that person can safely and effectively perform the particular duties of the job in question. This document provides a general set of guidelines for evaluating individuals with diabetes for employment, including how an assessment should be performed and what changes (accommodations) in the workplace may be needed for an individual with diabetes. I. EVALUATING INDIVIDUALS WITH DIABETES FOR EMPLOYMENT It was once common practice to restrict individuals with diabetes from certain jobs or classes of employment solely because of the diagnosis of diabetes or the use of insulin, without regard to an individual's abilities or circumstances. Such “blanket bans” are medically inappropriate and ignore the many advancements in diabetes management that range from the types of medications used to the tools used to administer them and to monitor blood glucose levels. Employment decisions should not be based on generalizations or stereotypes regarding the effects of diabetes. The impact of diabetes a Continue reading >>

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