Interviewing a T1 for a job

It’s been decided. I’m going to join on a video conference but only to observe not to interview.

There will be some better equipped people in that room.
I’m relieved really. This has been a weird experience and it’s not over yet


Well, it could potentially be something to see. I hope it all goes as well as it can. :confused:

I’m glad you’re not going to be in the room, but is she going to know that you’re going to be watching? My biggest concern for you, personally, is that if your company gets embroiled in a lawsuit, you may end up having to defend yourself, too. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but hearing that she basically put a ton of demands in her resume and cover letter, I’d be very nervous about getting involved in ANY way.


Adding…if your company is going to discuss this video with you, the discussion itself could be fodder for a trial. I’m usually not a conspiracy theorist or a negative Nellie, but this whole situation gives me the chills.


May be better to ask for option to refer to the applicants doctor regarding the reasonable accommodations being asked for, eg medically necessary.



It sounds weird, @Timothy.

I’m super open about the diabetes stuff, compared to most of you, but my experiences are a little different because I worked with nurses and EMT’s and I viewed it as a learning experience for THEM. I felt like that their experience with my illness me was valuable to them as providers. Some providers just don’t have a TON of experience with diabetic patients (or any medical condition - they are better with traumatic injury straight out of the gate. Medical issues are harder for them) when they are new. Many cops are really pretty bad with medical events.

I can totally see someone having bad experiences with an employer - about eating snacks or taking a moment here or there to take insulin. Some employers are really uptight about taking shots in public (because it could be perceived as drug use). Some employers don’t want you walking away every time they need to take insulin (for us who take frequent injection). I could see someone having bad experiences with this and thus feeling like they NEEDED to state it directly upfront.


I definitely have some physical safety things to navigate at work (everyone does there) where there is potential for electrocution and we all need to communicate and work together so that everyone is safe.

I, personally, feel relieved that I mentioned the diabetes upfront and they know about it and are OK with it. Otherwise, it might have been a safety concern for some people and they might not have felt comfortable broaching the issue after I was hired. They might have been afraid to ask questions about diabetes. Mostly, though, these guys are just curious about my tech (which they see me using and they know what it is).

I was once told by a firefighter friend/coworker of mine that she would feel uncomfortable working with me as a firefighter. It really hurt my feelings. I felt like that was an exceedingly unfair assessment in that we worked together for a very long time and just because I got low BG once on shift, she was being kinda mean about it. But I would prefer people feel comfortable raising those concerns because those concerns impact their safety on the job, too. I didn’t hold it against her. We are still friends and have a good working relationship. She also told me, once, not to take a particular fire fighting job because she didn’t trust the chief and said she had worked for him and someone died needlessly under his command. I appreciated that input. She said he was an irresponsible man who changed jobs a lot and that she didn’t think I was safe working with him.

Peoples opinions about your diabetes are just opinions and I’m OK with people expressing them. Its better to just know where people are at. Culturally, things are never going to be a good fit if people don’t know and accept you. That’s a terrible road to walk.


I agree with the others, though. This is a land mine for you.

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As an individual who has had type 1 since 1983, I have NEVER asked an employer or others around me to make concessions like hers. I have let everyone in my work environment know that I am a type 1, so that I will be given sugar and not call 911 if I were to get confused. Fortunately, that never happened. ( I was a Primary care physician for almost 40 years, with irregular hours from shared call, doing deliveries, surgical assists, etc, and at one point was a County Commissioner for 8 years). Her primary disability would not seem to be her diabetes, but her attitude towards others, and her obsession with being “disabled.” “Reasonable accommodations” under the ADA does not include shutting down all activities in a lab on a regular basis to accommodate the whims of an admittedly poorly controlled diabetic. I hope that you can artfully skirt around her insistence on manipulating the ADA, and not hire her for legitimate non disability reasons.


Unbelievable. I would not touch this person with a ten foot pole. Anyone considering hiring her needs his or her head examined. I had a successful private medical practice for 18 years and spent the rest of my career with an employer other than myself. We scrutinized our applicants for every job description. You have so many red flags here. She will give you nothing but trouble. Don’t make a mistake and hire her. You will have trouble making a case to fire her and you will be stuck with a horrible employee.


You can have physical requirements for a job if stated clearly and then not hire an applicant who cannot meet those.

For example, a firefighter has many strenuous physical requirements–they are allowed to screen out applicants who cannot achieve them and do not have to accommodate for disabilities that get in the way. That’s because those activities are central to the job responsibilities though. It’s why when I hire staff, I am required to include very clearly in the job description any such requirements. A common one for my listings is being able to drive a car for example, and I list that when applicable; if this applicant or any other was unable to drive because of uncontrolled diabetes, for example, I would be able to legally not hire them because they cannot meet the job requirements.

That said, they should not be involving you in this because of your own personal attributes (and potentially disability)—that itself is a questionable HR move. You should not be in any way weighing in on the diabetes matter here. That is an HR issue and a sticky one at that (I agree with the people who say given the cover letter, it was probably a mistake to interview her, not because of the diabetes, but because the description makes it sounds like she presented that first and foremost rather than her accomplishments and other aspects that should be the focus of a cover letter…). I would stay as uninvolved as possible and say you’d prefer to defer to HR, since your diabetes does not make you an expert on someone else’s.


Legally you cannot discuss health issues during an interview. If she starts to bring up the topic, the interviewer should re-focus the candidate on the questions regarding her skills and experience. If there are more than one candidate, have the same script of questions for every candidate. I wonder if the candidate in question somehow knows that the interviewer (or some manager) has T1D and she saw that as her opportunity. As we all know, the fact that an interviewer ha T1D, there really isn’t a way to b-s them into more accommodations than necessary or provided to any other candidate/employee. Abd a statement, should the candidate bring it - stating that you cannot discuss a candidates health/medical issues works as a CYA.


You must let us know how things go after the interview. The statements you made in the first post about her comments being out-of-date etc leads me to beliieve she isn’t qualified.


I would double and triple-check her qualifications, her education, her references and her past employers. It sounds very much like she is trying to get the job through threats about needing accomodations for the disabled as opposed to getting the job based on merit. I have been a Type 1, on insulin, for 57 years and I would never, ever write something like that.


I have been keeping my mouth unusually shut. When it comes to diabetes on the job (or, almost half a century ago, at school) I have usually been in the “don’t ask don’t tell” camp. They let me take care of my diabetes and I don’t go around flaunting it. BUT SEE NOTE AT END.

Now for kids in school this flew out the window decades ago. As far as I can tell every T1 kid in school or college has a Section 504 plan, written out in advance, and the legal experts on the subject of Section 504 plans certainly imply that the parents of a T1 kid should go into negotiations Section 504 plan with medical and legal guns blazing.

(Not so much lately, but for a couple years Section 504 plans were a regular topic of discussion on this site.)

And the lawyer-up Section 504 advocates tell all folks to write the plan for the most extreme case. Yes the student may be very well controlled and only rarely (or never at all) get the most extreme accomodations needed. But the lawyer-up advocates here and elsewhere say to put the most general broadest strokes into the plan from the get-go.

And it sounds like this is the applicants position as well, but for a job. It’s not the way I would do it but maybe it’s a generational shift.

NOW THE NOTE AT THE END: At my workplace several years ago (and with good reason, go read the NTSB writeups about cellphone use and the people that died as a result) there were several environments that were declared “no personal electronic devices” with no exceptions. Now I’m a T1 and I have a pocket bg meter, I have a CGM transmitter on my belly, I have a bg receiver, that are all very personal. And it’s easy to google and see where these devices are called “personal electronic devices” in several contexts. I went and talked with my union rep because I have to be in these environments, sometimes daily, sometimes for several hours at a stretch, and while he raised the point to management for me, it comes back to “don’t ask don’t tell”. I am a little uncomfortable with this, and feel I am short-shrifting both safety by violating the policy nearly every day, as well as short-shrifting my advocacy for other diabetics in my organization. But that’s where I landed, in the wamby-pamby don’t ask don’t tell camp yet again.

I do have to have some respect for the applicant who is standing up for their ability to take care of their health in the employment application for a workplace with strict gowning/environmental rules that aren’t ignored. They aren’t just standing up for their needs, they are standing up for my needs as well.


There isn’t enough information for this situation.*

Example -are you a manager or need to know employee ( for disability) like in HR or similar.
Maybe if they just needed to get an opinion because you have type 1 doesn’t mean all people with diabetes are the would be easier to just ask for a doctor note or a short form for accommodations.I see why a person might want to try and work while having a disability.( not to say all diabetes is a disability) Bringing it up front is being honest especially if this person knows and already or had a negative experience previously and trying to avoid a potential problem.

Some people have multiple conditions that they won’t list.could be embarrassing stressful and just use the one that they know will affect them in the workplace. They believe and probably can do the job and just need an accommodation for medical,psychological or similar reasons.
Again not all diabetics are alike. Remember what it feels like to be blamed for your diabetes even though u work hard and try everything. Eventually your body just doesn’t always do what you want it to. Diabetes doesn’t mean “ self inflicted “.

Or unfortunately some don’t get a diagnosis for many reasons and it does great damage to the body.

Many support systems are overwhelmed for multiple reasons. If people with disabilities or similar are accommodated in the workplace in many aspects of society will be relieved of some burdens.Including the patient who wants to be a part and included.

An employer can ask if you need an accommodation for an interview.
They can’t ask questions about your disability unless you are employed with the hiring business

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After reading many of the responses, my suggestion is to have your HR department contact the American Diabetes Association. They may be able to provided some additional suggestions/thoughts/legal direction. This is a very delicate situation. The candidate appears to be demanding a job based on a disability versus her qualifications. Her qualifications for the job have to be assessed first and, of course, any previous pertinent work history has to be verified. Good luck! (if possible, let us all know the outcome!)


This is all good input. We will see soon enough what happens.

As for safety, there are places in the lab where I can’t go.
Like places with strong magnets. I’m not worried about it being ripped off my body as much as it ruining my pump or transmitter.

My manager knows this and other people do work in those rooms and I do not. That’s an accommodation that I am afforded, and it’s never been an issue.

It’s just difficult to know what is reasonable and what is not.
You can say that everything is reasonable or else a quadriplegic would need to be considered for a job in a warehouse lifting boxes.

Some things just can’t be accommodated. I’m glad I will not be the one making these decisions in her case, but I do have to hire employees in other areas.

I was only asked to be involved in this interview because I know a thing or two about diabetes. I might have a clue what is reasonable and what is not reasonable.

If a person states that he needs 2 hours a day to review his glucose data, that seems unreasonable to me, but 2 min is quite reasonable.

A person needing to step out 4 times a day instead of 2 is in the realm of reasonable.

I don’t know where the line is. I don’t think anyone really does.
As for her qualifications, she must be qualified on paper or she wouldn’t have gotten this far in the process.

The big picture is a different thing. I don’t want employers to think diabetic employees are problematic or difficult.
I also don’t want to be seen like that, and yet I feel a real weird pushback when someone acts in a way that I think is unreasonable.
It definitely does cast a shadow on me personally.
That doesn’t mean I would discriminate against her or any other person who has a disability real or inflated.
It just rubs me the wrong way.