From Staten Island, New York, USA:
I am a 22-year-old female who lives in Staten Island, New York. I have had diabetes since I was one. When applying for jobs in my area, I always tell people I am diabetic upon being interviewed. I have had four jobs and, in the beginning, everyone said that my diabetes was no problem, to let them know when I needed breaks. As time went on and I got more settled into my jobs, whenever I needed a break because I felt I was going low, my bosses would tell me that it was not time for me to go on break. At my last job, I had a low blood sugar and I had called to let them know I was not coming in. I did not want to ride the bus with a low blood sugar and have some kind of reaction. They knew I was diabetic, but they still fired me. Is there any way to approach this differently?
First, you are in no way obligated to disclose to an employer during the pre-hiring process that you have diabetes or that you experience disability from it. Second, New York City has a every inclusive Human Rights Law which they enforce aggressively. One of the protections afforded by the city's Human Rights Law is freedom from discrimination in employment based on disability. If you have a disability, your employer is required to make reasonable accommodation to enable your to perform your job. It is difficult for me to evaluate how your recent experience matches up with the actions your employer took. I encourage to review the materials prepared by the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
Additional comments from Debbie Butler, MSW, LICSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker:I would suggest that you call the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Advocacy Department and explain what happened and see what their advice would be. The main ADA number is 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). The ADA also has an informative page on Employment Discrimination on its web site.
Original posting 29 Jun 2007
Posted to Other
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:11
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