Diabetic worker sues Walgreens for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violation

The popular chain pharmacy and convenience store Walgreens has been sued by a former worker for an alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The former employee is diabetic and the former worker claims that Walgreens violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing a reasonable accommodation concerning the worker’s diabetes.

The diabetic woman worked as a cashier for a Walgreens in San Francisco for almost 18 years. During her time as an employee for the store she never received a complaint against her. The woman’s supervisors were aware that she had diabetes. The condition requires individuals to carefully monitor and regulate their blood sugar levels. In order to keep her blood sugar levels in check, the woman normally carried a small piece of candy for circumstances when she felt her blood sugar was getting low.

In 2008, the woman began to have a diabetic attack while working at the store; however, she did not have a piece of candy on her. To address the diabetic attack the woman quickly reached for a bag of chips and ate them. The woman paid for the $1.39 bag of chips after she ate them. The woman said, “I knew I needed to do something quickly.”

The woman was fired over her decision. Thereafter, the woman filed a lawsuit against Walgreens under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The woman claims Walgreens did not make a reasonable accommodation on the day she had her attack. Commenting on the case, the woman’s attorney said, “Accommodating disability does not have to be expensive, but it may require an employer to be flexible and open-minded.”

Source: ABC News, “Walgreens sued for firing hungry diabetic,” Katie Moisse, Sept. 12, 2011

Attorney Elizabeth A. Schmidt is an associate attorney with Alan C. Olson & Associates, S.C. If you have any questions about disability discrimination, please contact her at [email protected].


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