My boss thinks I can cure my type one diabetes by diet and exercise

My boss told me I can cure my type one diabetes by diet and exercise. He said I don’t need to take insulin every time I eat something. He said having a low blood sugar is not an emergency and he will not allow me to take a break to eat or drink something He said that its not even a real disease and to leave my medical kit (my insulin and testing supplies) at home…that I’m just trying to make people feel sorry for me. He said you don’t need to test your blood sugar multiple times a day or “shoot up” at work. I tried to explain to him that my type one diabetes is a very real life threatening disease and it is very nessassry for me to test my BG and take my insulin. He said he looked up diabetes on “Google” and I’m trying to make it worse than it really is. He said if I test or “shoot up” at work anymore he will fire me. Now I’m sure this is against the law and would like some advise on how I should proceed. I have kids and don’t want to lose my job. But I’m no good to them dead . Any advise our comment are greatly appreciated.

This is a flagrant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ( You can contact the department of justice if he remains unenlightened.

He cannot deny your right to treat your diabetes at work, and if he tries, he'll be in a world of trouble.

Thanks for the links Christopher. I will definitely look into these.

In addition to Christopher's recommendation, if applicable, I would speak with his supervisor. I would also look into speaking with someone from your human resources department.

If he makes the mistake of firing you, I would consult an attorney. Best of luck to you, Troy.

Thanks Kilij but he is the boss/owner. And there is no human resources. He runs everything.

Your boss is 100% wrong. You should start recording all your conversations with him, in case you need it later. Here's a link to AC vs. Shelby County, an appellate case that I think is a pretty good read. It's not exactly on point, as it's a school district rather than an employer but the gist of it is the court finding a very clear violation of the PWD's civil rights, exactly what your boss is doing. Depending on how big the employer is, you should contact HR, begin taking notes on all of your conversations, write down quotes, everything he says can and should be used against him. If he backs down and it's cool, hey, throw it in a filing cabinet. If he persists, or takes action against you, light him up!

All good advice. And I would add that you should start looking really hard for another job. What a hostile work environment!

I can only imagine the frustration you must be feeling. My recommendation is to try to educate him, not prep for a legal battle. I don't have a specific item in mind, but there are usually some short pamphlets in my doctor's office that describe diabetes - maybe one of those might work, or even a link to the American Diabetes Association's site.

If his only source of information is a quick Google search, maybe you could even help him by giving him the right terms to search for. If he's not getting the right information from somewhere, he is just as likely to believe one of those chain emails that someone's relative sends about how they can "cure" our diabetes by drinking a shake made with sawdust and buttermilk (or something like that). :)

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Update: Try this link:

I'm so sorry, sounds really horrible. I agree with a lot of the advice. First record all conversations with him, including this one, make a written document of it yourself. Try to educate him first, print out information and maybe have him contact your endo. Then if necessary make a complaint with ada and with local organizations, because legally, even if this is his own business and he is the owner, he still has to abide by the laws which protect us. I hope all of this works and he will realize how wrong he is.

While there is certainly legal stuff you can do it is often difficult to change the situation without a great deal of stress. And things like the Americans with Disabilities Act only apply to employers with 15 or more employees. That being said, your employer is practicing medicine without a license and violating your rights.

One thing you should do is to get your boss to write out his "diagnosis" and "treatment" and then his "rules." Tell him it is so you can get everything straight and not get fired. If he writes it out and signs it he will be totally hosed.

Once you have the signed admission I would contact the American Diabetes Association at the following:

608 West Douglas Avenue #100
Wichita, KS 67203
(316) 684-6091

Even if you are unable to get a signed admission you should still contact them.

I don't know if you will change the current situation without leaving your relationship with your boss strained, but there is no reason for you to be treated this way.

Wow. He's a good one huh???

If it was me I'd contact the American Diabetes Association for assistance. They have a team of legal advocates that can help find a resolution. Maybe all it would take is a strongly worded letter letting him know he is breaking federal anti-discrimination laws. (especially if your work industry has compliance rules)

Some helpful links....
Your rights to reasonable accommodations

Tools & resources from the ADA

He is dispensing medical advice without a license.

Not only all that but your boss is very ignorant. Sadly most people are about type 1. Many people , most people, ask me if lose weight or just watch what I eat it will go away. Ignorant. They just haven't educated themselves, sadly.


Is your boss a "my way or the highway!" type, or is he willing to have a discussion with you?

Can you ask him to show you what he found on Google? If so, you can point him to the ADA website link provided by trauts.

Many people have no clue that Type 1 exists, so if he is open to a little education that might work wonders.

It might be helpful to tell your boss that you expect to do a great job for him and you are willing to follow his rules, but his rules need to have some flexibility to them. After all, he has invested time and money into having you as an employee, so providing some flexibility allows him to protect and grow his investment in you.

If he is truly a dictator, then you might want to find another job.

Wow, maybe you need to quit. Its tough because, as a diabetic and an epileptic, I feel like I really need to trust the people that I associate with and have a pretty strong circle of honest, well intention-ed friends. But, its tough when it comes to work. Please remember that there are certain things that dissuade an employer from calling an ambulance for an injured/ill employee in an emergency. They often don't want workman's compensation claims. I have seen employers take extraordinary measures to prevent ambulance response for employees, but as long as you have a coworker that you trust, you should put them (secretly) in charge of calling 911, just in case its ever needed. What do you do, if you don't mind me asking? Maybe, I can think up some additional strategies. You sorta need to work with people who have your best interest at heart. People who wont throw you under a bus to save themselves a workmans compensation claim. Do you have health insurance through your employer?

P.S. He has a bit of a boundary issue if he is trying to regulate when you eat, drink, or go to the bathroom. Your an American and you have the right to drink when your thirsty (or hypoglycemic) and eat when your hungry (or hypoglycemic). Its good preventative care to try to figure this stuff out, but it can be really tricky. Someone who is this controlling, might not be the best person to work for if, god forbid, you get hit in the head with a hammer or have a heart attack, either. No good.

Troy, educate him as best as you can. Everyone's suggestions for the gentle approach first, are ok.. but he cannot fire you for wanting to stay alive. If he still will not allow you to take your insulin at work, or anything else to maintain your health, He is clearly violating the law.. Thus, if he fires you, you can probably sue him. If it is a small company with less than 15 employees, I am not sure of what the specifics of the ADA is for such firms. I understand you live in a very small town in Kansas, about 35
minutes or so from Wichita. Here is a Legal Aid office and phone number that may be able to help you. It is probably worth your while to contact the legal aid, for free advice, as you proceed with this employer. Meanwhile, I would look for another job, to be absolutely frank.

God bless,

That's incredible! hang in there Troy! Follow the advice given here unless you can just sit down with your boss and put it straight?

Troy, I have two important questions for you:
1. Do you hate your job?
2. Do you work for a company whose net worth is decent?

If you answered "yes" to the two questions above, tell your boss he's wrong and that if he doesn't like your behavior, he should fire you.

After you are fired, sue the company for every penny you can get. If this ends up being enough money, you can thereafter lead a life of leisure.

If you answer to question 2. is "No" then look for another job and sue for the emotional distress caused by your having to work in a hostile environment.

Thanks for all the advise and comments. I set him straight today with information on my disease and the ADA info. He quickly changed his tune.