Disability Discrimination Based on Diabetes
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 area to test glucose or take insulin, assistive devices for diabetic retinopathy or diabetic neuropathy, the ability to keep food or other diabetes supplies at one's desk or work station, and the opportunity to work a modified work schedule or take leaves in order to treat or recuperate from diabetes. In some cases, you may also be entitled to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
An employer is supposed to provide a requested reasonable accommodation unless doing so would result in an undue hardship for the employer because it is overly difficult or expensive. In most cases, appropriate accommodations for someone with diabetes are inexpensive and can be provided without difficulty.
However, your employer and you are supposed to engage in an interactive process in good faith in order to determine a reasonable accommodation. If you do not cooperate, the employer cannot be held liable for failing to provide a reasonable accommodation in a lawsuit brought under the ADA. For example, if your employer denies your initial request, you should not quit. Instead, you should work with the employer to see whether there is another accommodation that could work. It can be helpful to have an experienced employment litigator on your side if you believe that your employer is being unfair or failing to use good faith in coming up with a reasonable accommodation. In some cases, however, it is necessary to file suit.Enlist an Experienced Disability Discrimination Lawyer in New York City
At Phillips & Associates, our New York City disability discrimination attorneys provide tenacious legal representation to employees suffering from diabetes. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or use our online form to set up a free consultation. We help people who need an employment discrimination or sexual harassment attorney throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.
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