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Diabetes and workplace rights

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Discrimination And Harassment, Employment Law - Employee

Getting a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean sacrificing your career goals or compromising your workplace rights. Thanks to legal protections and increasing awareness, individuals with diabetes have the right to a fair and accommodating California work environment.


The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, including diabetes. This federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations that enable employees to perform their job duties effectively.


You do not have any obligation to disclose your diabetes diagnosis to your employer. However, if you require accommodations to perform your job, you should consider having an open conversation with your employer or HR department to ensure your needs are met.

Reasonable accommodations

Reasonable accommodations can vary depending on your job role and needs. They might include flexible work schedules to manage blood sugar levels, breaks to check glucose levels or administer insulin, access to a private area for medical treatments or adjustments to duties that could pose risks to your health.


The law prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with diabetes in hiring, firing, promotions or other aspects of employment. You have the right to be evaluated based on your skills and qualifications, not your medical condition.


Your employer must keep your medical information confidential. Disclosing your condition to colleagues is a personal choice, and your employer should respect your privacy.

Health insurance and benefits

Employers are generally required to provide equal access to health insurance and benefits, regardless of medical conditions. This includes coverage for necessary medications, treatments and equipment that relate to diabetes management.

Safe working conditions

If your job requires physical labor or poses potential risks to your health, your employer should take measures to ensure your safety while accommodating your medical needs. This can include anything from special equipment to training and assistance.

Advocating for your rights

If you feel your employer is violating your rights or not providing adequate accommodations, you have the right to take action. Document any incidents, conversations or denials of accommodations and consult advocacy groups or your support network of friends and family if necessary.