Diabetes and the workplace

I’m wondering if anyone got tagged as " unstable diabetic" and had changed implemented to work routines? I was told I can’t work from home as I am unstable and unsafe to be working on my own ( desk job) . Have always self treated hypos and had type 1 for 25. Years with good track record at work. Was asked to get a letter from GP to verify fitness which I submitted but now asked for specialist letter , this is after I asked for one week leave to monitor my bsl’s as they were a bit hard to manage at the time, with specialist advice back on track but wfh priveledges are withdrawn z

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I have never heard of such a thing. Is this even legal? Is this a large company?

Welcome to our group Anna.

Hi Anna:

Welcome to our forum. Is there any reason or excuse the employer can use to demonstrate that you have not been able to do the job you were assigned? I believe that your employer would have to show a repetitive failure on your part to be able to make such a claim. Employers are under such scrutiny these days that it is hard to imagine an employer would make such a request from you without what they believe is a solid basis on their part. Do you have any inkling of any basis your employer might have for such an action?

The ADA has legal assistance for potential discrimination in all 50 states. This resource might be helpful. I suggest you give them a call. They may be helpful.

If you have more questions about your rights or need help, call us at 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383) or send an email to askada@diabetes.org. Our call center will ask you a few questions about your issue and send your request to the Legal Advocate Program for review and possible assistance.

Yes a very large organisation. Funnily all these requests and directives are purely verbal from direct line manager. The only email is my own scanned letter from my GP to said Manager .


No performance issue at all, I asked. They said they are worried they are putting me at risk by if they allow me to work from home as there is no one to assist me if I have problems with blood sugar levels whereas at work there are people around who can help. To which I wonder , does it mean I require carer support all the time?i don’t , as I have been independent for the last 18years of my employment at this same organisation.

It sounds like you really need to talk to an advocate as recommended by Rphil2 above to review all of your options

Thanks , I will do so, if I get treated differently from now on, and privileges not returned after specialist letter given

Yes, I have.

Once, when I had an epileptic seizure at work. This always gets blamed on D.

I have had difficulty with coworkers in physically demanding jobs because they simply didn’t believe that I could fulfill the duties. It was a trust thing. They never had any trouble until I revealed that I had D. Then, it became an object of constant interest. Personalities with control issues really latched onto it and wouldn’t let it go. I couldn’t trust those people. Their was something ‘funny’ about them that was particularly obvious in their relationship to my D. In the end, I didn’t really trust them with my physical safety, or anybody elses, independent of D.

A week of leave is a long time. Is it unusual in your place of business for people to take that? This might be an issue of trust. Would you trust that they can handle low BG? Would they know how to help? DO YOU trust their judgement? Do they trust you?

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I wouldn’t go by anything verbal. I’d get it in writing, then take it right to my lawyer.

I am not a lawyer but I was a boss. If someone asked for a week off specifically because they were having trouble with BSL’s then I think that opens the door to a boss asking for letters that you are okay to return to work. I think it might also open the door to wondering about liability issues from that point on in case something happens to you in regards to that issue. But a lawyer would be the one that could advise you on that. It would be most important to get the reason in writing.

PS Sometimes people decide to do things on their own, but it is not a company policy, which would also be a reason to have it put in writing.


Good points _ no a weeks leave is not considered long at all where I work , it was not sick leave but I did advise that I needed to closely monitor sugars to see the trends and consult with a specialist , things that would be difficult while working full time. I did have a chat to my manager yesterday , and conclusion was , provide clearance from specialist and have your privileges back . You are right , I have lost trust with management and she does agree it over the top response but that’s what her manager had advised. She apologised for the run around and said there were no performance issues whatsoever ever . I was quite disturbed as it made me wonder what else is in the picture but she assures me that’s about it all and my safety was the main concern


Makes sense

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I don’t want to talk you out of a job that you might really need. I just want to communicate my experience that I find it difficult as a person (and as a chronically ill person in particular) to work with people who’s judgement I don’t trust. Its kinda a safety thing, I think. It was more of a big deal when I worked in medical because we relied on one another, to some degree, for physical safety and team work and so we didn’t get sued. But, I think its still an issue for me to this day.

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You may at some point want to request a copy of your employee file as you are entitled to have it. There may be one or more similar past experiences over the years that seemed so minor to you that you don’t even remember them but are documented in your file, raising a red flag to a manager. That way at least you can be sure that there is nothing else you may be overlooking that should be addressed to avoid future repercussions.


Agreed. Like Marie, I am a “boss” too, and what she’s posted here is exactly the way I would have proceeded. Company’s spend beaucoup dollars and efforts on limiting their liability. Sometimes justified, sometimes not.

One thing you can do, if this is out of line, is to send an email to your boss, recapping the conversation that he had with you. It shouldn’t be accusatory, but rather state the facts: “Per our conversation that you initiated on date such and such, we discussed such and such” Something along those lines.

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