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Is Diabetes Considered a Disability?

June 11th, 2024
Our Bucks County Disability Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Helps You Protect Your Rights at Work

Diabetes is recognized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This designation is crucial for workers in Philadelphia, as it provides them with legal protection against workplace discrimination due to their medical condition. Understanding how diabetes qualifies as a disability and knowing the available rights and accommodations are essential for employees managing this condition.

To grasp the legal standing of diabetes as a disability, it is essential first to understand what constitutes a disability under the law. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment substantially limiting one or more major life activities. This definition is broad and inclusive, encompassing various conditions and ensuring protection against discrimination.

Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, affects millions of Americans, impinging on their daily lives in various ways. From insulin management to dietary restrictions and monitoring blood sugar levels, the condition demands constant attention and care.

Diabetes significantly limits the function of the endocrine system, which is critical for maintaining bodily functions. The condition requires daily management to prevent life-threatening complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, and vision loss. Given its pervasive impact, diabetes can and does qualify as a disability under the ADA because it substantially limits the major life activity of endocrine function, among others.

Legal Protections for Individuals With Diabetes

Recognizing diabetes as a disability affords individuals certain protections in the workplace. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to enable persons with diabetes to perform their job duties. Examples of such accommodations can vary widely, reflecting the specific needs of the individual and the nature of their work:

  • Flexible scheduling: Adjustments to work schedules can allow employees with diabetes to attend medical appointments, manage insulin therapy, and maintain a stable blood glucose level throughout the workday.
  • Break schedules: Permitting more frequent or longer breaks enables individuals to monitor blood glucose levels, eat snacks to regulate sugar levels, and administer insulin when necessary.
  • Worksite modifications: Making changes to the physical workspace or providing a private area for blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration can help manage diabetes discreetly and effectively.
  • Access to a refrigerator and microwave: Allowing individuals to store and prepare healthy meals and snacks can support dietary management crucial for diabetes control.
  • Job reassignment: In cases where an employee’s current position cannot be reasonably accommodated, reassignment to a vacant position for which the employee is qualified may be considered.

Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on diabetes. This includes decisions related to hiring, firing, job assignments, promotions, and other terms and conditions of employment.

While the law provides these protections, individuals with diabetes may still face challenges in the workplace. Some employers may not fully understand the implications of the condition or the necessity of accommodations. Employees may fear stigma or repercussions from disclosing their condition.

Seeking Legal Recourse

For workers in Philadelphia facing discrimination due to diabetes, it is crucial to know that legal options are available. Employment discrimination law firms like The Gold Law Firm P.C. navigate these complex issues. They can provide guidance on requesting reasonable accommodations and, if necessary, pursue legal action against discriminatory practices.

Our Bucks County Disability Discrimination Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Helps You Protect Your Rights at Work

If you or someone you love has been discriminated against in the workplace due to diabetes, it is imperative to consult with a legal professional who understands your rights. Speak with our Bucks County disability discrimination lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. today. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Cherry Hill.

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