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I am a Diabetic. What are my chances in facing my employer w/ a ADA Harassment Charge vs. their Code & Ethics Conduct & Values.

New Haven, CT |

My boss is trying to put a Verbal Warning in my file for being disruptive & disrespectful for telling a co-worker "That's not your job" loudly after I previously informed my co-worker I was not feeling well & I would answer her questions once I was able to and she continued to be persistent in getting her answers, while I was having a hypoglycemic reaction of a 33 sugar level. I advised my Manager that my loud, agitated/anxious state & reaction were hypoglycemic symptoms & if I was in a physically & mentally better frame of mind, I would never had reacted the way I did. It was my bad reaction in the 1st place that made me realize I was having a hypoglycemic reaction since 30-40 mins. before the incident my sugar level was at 146. I am about begin the 3rd process of a grievance w/ my union

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.

I hope your union can resolve this for you because that is the least expensive and most expedient way to fix this. If the union is not successful, your next option would be to pursue a private action with an employment law attorney. However, this is not a practical solution because you will have to pay for this representation, given that you have not suffered economic damages.

You can better protect yourself in the future by providing your human resources department with a written request for reasonable accommodation for your diabetes from your treating physician. The doctor can briefly explain hypoglycemic symptoms and that you have a need to address such a condition on a regular basis. If medically appropriate, your doctor may request the reasonable accommodation of allowing you to check your sugar levels on a regular basis, at whatever time intervals the doctor and you decide is appropriate. Hopefully, this will prevent future hypoglycemic reactions.

You may also wish to explore other reasonable accommodations, and you can get some great ideas from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service: http://askjan.org/. JAN is the best source for free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations. JAN offers one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation. JAN provides help over the phone and on-line and has its web site has great information on many disabilities, including mental health disabilities, and suggested reasonable accommodations. JAN is a service of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy.

@MikaSpencer * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis.

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