Federal and state law prohibits employers in Rhode Island from unfairly discriminating against employees who have health conditions such as diabetes. This is because diabetes is considered to be a disability, and companies must generally offer reasonable accommodations to account for issues such as high blood sugar or other issues having diabetes may cause.
Workers are protected by two pieces of legislation
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination by companies or other entities that receive federal funds. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Ac was passed and states that disabled individuals are entitled to reasonable accommodations. What the law considers a reasonable accommodation varies depending on the exact hardships a disabled individual might face.
How to obtain reasonable accommodations
If you have diabetes, you may need to request specific accommodations in writing. For instance, you may ask for an additional break to have a snack or drink if your blood sugar gets too high or low. Your employer may also agree to allow you to have a drink behind your register or allow you to sit down even if that goes against company policy. It is important to understand that employers are not required to abide by your requests if it would create an undue hardship.
How to report discrimination
It’s possible that your employer will refuse to provide you with reasonable accommodations or retaliate against you for taking advantage of them. If you feel like you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, talk to your supervisor or someone else within the company. If you feel like your concerns aren’t being taken seriously, you can file a complaint with state or federal authorities such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
If you’re mistreated at work, you may be entitled to various forms of relief. For instance, you may be entitled to reinstatement to your current position if you’re terminated or demoted because of your disability. Financial compensation may also be available in a workplace discrimination settlement or lawsuit.