Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting thousands of people in Wisconsin and millions worldwide. If you have diabetes, knowing your workplace rights is essential for receiving the necessary accommodations and support to manage your condition effectively while on the job.
Legal protections for diabetics
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Law both prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including those with diabetes. Under both federal and state law, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees with diabetes, providing that the accommodations do not cause undue hardship to the employer.
Reasonable accommodations may include one or more conveniences that can help people with diabetes better cope with their condition. For example, as a person with diabetes, you may need to attend regular doctor appointments, receive insulin injections or take medication throughout the day. Therefore, employers must provide you with reasonable time off for these appointments and treatments.
Employers may also be required to provide a secluded area for testing and monitoring your blood sugar levels during work hours. This may include a designated place where you can store insulin, glucose tablets or other diabetes-related supplies.
Furthermore, employers may have to provide a flexible work schedule that allows you to manage your diabetes effectively. This can include taking breaks as needed to test your blood sugar levels or take medication.
In some cases, employers may be required to modify job duties to accommodate diabetic employees. This includes allowing for frequent breaks, providing a chair or stool to sit on, or reducing physical demands that may exacerbate diabetes-related symptoms.
It’s important to note that under employment law, you are not required to disclose your diabetes diagnosis to your employer unless you need accommodations to manage your condition. However, if you tell your diagnosis, your employer must keep this information confidential.
Filing a complaint
If you feel that your employer is not providing the necessary accommodations or is discriminating against you due to your diabetes diagnosis, you may have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is responsible for investigating discrimination claims in the workplace and enforcing the ADA.
You may also be able to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which is responsible for enforcing the Wisconsin Fair Employment Law.
Protecting your rights as a diabetes sufferer
As a person with diabetes, knowing your workplace rights is essential to ensure you receive the necessary accommodations and support to manage your condition effectively while on the job. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations and modification of job duties for workers with diabetes. If you feel your rights have been violated, you should reach out to the experienced attorneys at Alan C. Olson & Associates.