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Diabetic employees: must you grant them extra breaks as a disability accommodation?

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Chances are, you’ve got at least one diabetic employee in your workplace. What would you say if that person asked for an altered work schedule so she could eat regular meals, check her blood or exercise? Are you required by law to grant such requests?

Diabetes is not automatically a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But as a new court ruling shows, if employees can prove their diabetes “substantially limits one of their major life activities,” such as eating, then the employee is legally disabled and protected by the ADA. As a result, supervisors would be required to engage in an interactive discussion to arrive at a reasonable accommodation.

Case in Point: Lisa Robbins, a television station manager, was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. She regularly worked 45 to 50 hours a week.

She repeatedly asked her supervisor and even his boss to reduce her hours and give her a “mo...(register to read more)

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