You would think since we’re in the 21st century that people wouldn’t discriminate because of illnesses. But, unfortunately, it still happens. In today’s society, the main problem usually is lack of communication and information. But this gap has clearly caused problems. Some have found this to be the case when managing their diabetes and their job.
But first, just what is employment discrimination? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), employment discrimination is any adverse action because of a person’s disability. Discrimination is illegal in hiring, firing, disciplining, pay, promotion, job training, benefits and/or in any other area of employment due to your disability or illness. If you assert your rights, your employer would be breaking the law if he retaliated against you.
When trying to get a job, you are not required to tell your potential employer your medical history. Blanket bans – policies that restrict employment to a disabled person - are illegal as well. The exception to the rule is when the job specifically has medical qualifications and so disclosure of any current medical condition would be necessary to meet job standards. Due to improvements in law and medicine, even jobs that require a medical standard may not be totally out of range for people with certain medical problems like diabetes. This can include, commercial drivers, police officers, fire fighters - who now have improved guidelines to assess whether a person is able to do their job or not.
Some professions are restricted, however, especially when it comes to insulin use. Pilots, who are insulin dependent, may not obtain first-class certification. This certification allows a pilot to fly a large commercial plane. Neither does the military accept insulin-dependent individuals, although some concessions are made when diabetes is diagnosed after enlistment. Upon taking a required medical examination, an employer may decide not to hire you if your clearly would pose a threat to the health and safety of yourself and others. An examination can only be requested after a job offer has been accepted, but before your actually begin the job.