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Diabetics’ rights in the workplace

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and complex diseases that millions of Americans face. Unfortunately, diabetes also often creates issues in the workplace. Diabetics in New York must understand their workplace rights.

Are you a qualified individual with a disability?

Any employee who is considered a “qualified individual with a disability” is protected from any workplace discrimination. To be considered a qualified individual with a disability, you must be able to perform the required duties of the job, and you must have a disability. You are considered to be a person with a disability if:

  • You have a mental or physical impairment that limits you.
  • You have a medical history and record of that impairment.
  • You’re regarded as having that impairment.

Before you’re hired

When applying for a job, an employer cannot ask if you are disabled. Additionally, they cannot require you to take a physical unless all employees are required to do so. Finally, they cannot refuse to hire you based on that physical examination unless it would prohibit you from doing the job, nor can they deny you a job based on your disability.

After you’re hired

You are not required to disclose your disability to an employer unless you request special accommodations to perform the job according to employment law. Several rules govern workplace policies for those with disabilities. Employers cannot:

  • Require a post-employment medical exam.
  • Ask about your disability if it is not job-related.
  • Reveal your disability to other employees.
  • Pay you less based on your disability.
  • Refuse reasonable accommodation requests.
  • Retaliate based on your reasonable accommodation request.

You must understand these rules whether you are an employee or an employer. While diabetes can undoubtedly make life difficult, it should never preclude someone from employment.