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Re: [IP] Disabled Question Court Ruling
Two years ago when I filed a discrimination suit against my employer for trying to force me out for having a nasty insulin reaction while working, I was in touch with the ADA big time. Even with the Americans with Disabilities Act then, the only diabetics winning any court cases were the ones whose employers were blatantly in violation of such it. The ADA at that time had an up to date list of all pending and recently resolved court cases re diabetes and you can probably get your own copy by calling them and asking nicely. Or maybe it's even online by now. By blatant violation I mean diabetics would have to prove they were being discriminated against because and ONLY because they were diabetic. (Like a police department that lumps all diabetic applicants in the same can't-work-here policy). At that time it was determined that any employer can fire you for any reason whatsoever, IF you don't live in a right-to=work state- in which case they don't even have to give you noti!
ce. My ignorant employer tried to claim I was a 'hazard' in the work environment - as if I'd fallen into the stew pot and rolled over on the customer- but as it turned out, after speaking with his lawyers he quickly changed his tune and decided he just didn't like me. You also have to be able to perform the job with 'reasonable accomodation' - I needed to eat at certain times (MDI) and he tried to prevent me. But it didn't legally meet the criteria of the diabetes being the ONLY criteria for discrimination - so legally it was a toss up.
I agree this doesn't bode well for diabetics in general.
I'd suggest that if your employer starts squawking about 'too many doctors appointments' or any other such stuff that you start keeping a work log meticullously especially as it relates to your diabetes.
I settled out of court (mostly a legal maneuver, rather than a real victory) and got them to pay med insurance for another six months and then of course I got COBRA and now, still unemployed and recently disabled, have absolutelely zilch insurance and am up the proverbial crick.
Also if you're going into litigation over discrimination over your diabetes, remember litigation is hell on BGs - take forever to settle and you may end up in more trouble than it's worth. Generally, however, most employers will settle out of court, as it costs them a lot to go to court. And they'd rather pay something to you than to their lawyers. If it's less thatn $25,000 they'll probably settle- but believe me it doesn't take long to go through $$ especially with a high priced companion like the pump- not to mention mortgages, kids, student loans, cars and computers!
Off my soap box now.
---- On Jun 23 Donna <email @ redacted> wrote:
> Well this is just great! Now we stand there until we either go into DKA or have
> an insulin reaction and when we can't perform our job because we are on the
> floor we get fired. Then I guess we can all apply for disability and stay home!
> This decision makes it easy for employers to fire someone with diabetes if they
> have too many doctors appts. Especially someone who is newly diagnosed.
> email @ redacted wrote:
> > What happens now when one gets a clogged infusion set in the middle of work
> > and it's "not time for a break?"
> > Disabled Question Court Ruling
> > .c The Associated Press
> > By MAGGIE JACKSON
> > Say you're partly deaf but wear a hearing aid, can you demand a special
> > telephone headset at work? If you take blood pressure pills, does your boss
> > have to give you a special break to take them? The nation's high court says
> > no.
> > Most people who can correct or compensate for their disabilities -
> > epileptics, diabetics, even amputees - aren't protected from discrimination
> > under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Supreme Court rulings
> > Tuesday.
> > Employers, who already win most disability-related lawsuits, applauded the
> > decisions as a welcome clarification of the 1990 law best known for requiring
> > handicap access ramps in public buildings. But advocates for the disabled
> > were appalled.
> > ``It's a horrible catch-22 for people,'' said Kurt Decker, executive director
> > of the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, an umbrella
> > group for legal agencies representing disabled people.
> > ``If they do correct their disability, they're not covered by the ADA,'' said
> > Decker. ``If they don't, they probably can't work. ... This is a very bad
> > message to employers.''
> > The anti-bias law prohibits employers from discriminating against a
> > ``qualified individual with a disability'' because of that disability.
> > A qualified person is defined as one who can perform a job when given
> > reasonable accommodation, and a disability is defined as condition that
> > substantially limits a major life activity. The law also protects people who
> > are discriminated against because they are ``regarded as'' having a
> > disability.
> > The court's narrow interpretation of disability involved three cases: two
> > nearsighted pilots rejected by United Airlines; a mechanic with high blood
> > pressure fired by United Parcel Service; and a trucker blind in one eye fired
> > by Albertson's grocery stores.
> > The justices ruled that measures taken to correct an impairment can't be
> > ignored in assessing a person's disability. If eyeglasses remedy a vision
> > impairment, then the person shouldn't be considered disabled. In contrast, a
> > person substantially limited in mobility despite using a wheelchair would be
> > regarded as disabled.
> > Employers, who feared a flood of new lawsuits if the definition of disability
> > was widened, were relieved by the rulings. The decisions excluded more than
> > 100 million Americans with physical impairments from protection under the ADA.
> > ``It didn't make a lot of sense from an employer's perspective to have to
> > extend the benefits of this statute to people who are every bit as capable of
> > performing a job in their corrected state,'' said Allen Fagin, a New York
> > lawyer who represents employers.
> > But the decisions angered Vaughn Murphy, the Manhattan, Kan., truck mechanic
> > with high blood pressure whose case was decided Tuesday.
> > ``Unless you're a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, the ADA doesn't exist for
> > you,'' he said in a telephone interview from his home. ``For anybody who has
> > physical problems, do we just wipe half the ADA away?''
> > Glen Arnold, a diabetic dependent on insulin, also fretted when he heard the
> > news. He won an appeal in a discrimination case against United Parcel Service
> > last year based on the ADA, and the case was later settled.
> > ``I was able to fall back on the ADA for some support and help,'' he said.
> > ``Where does this leave us if discrimination does happen?''
> > The Maine lawyer who represented Arnold, Peter Thompson, said Tuesday he
> > would have to dismiss discrimination cases of two diabetic clients because of
> > the rulings.
> > A person with high blood pressure or diabetes who needs to take medications
> > at times when office breaks aren't allowed now cannot demand this
> > accommodation under the law. A diabetic child who needs special permission to
> > prick his finger during class now may not get it.
> > ``The point of the ADA was to get people into the mainstream of life and
> > allow them to be employed and assume a responsible stance in society,'' said
> > John Gresham of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a nonprofit law
> > firm. ``People who have invested substantial effort to do that may lose
> > protection.''
> > In a fourth decision related to the law, the court ruled that states may be
> > required to take mentally disabled people out of hospitals and let them live
> > in homelike settings. The decision left both sides of the conflict claiming
> > victory.
> > The court said the law requires states to place the mentally disabled in the
> > ``most integrated setting'' appropriate, but only after ``taking into account
> > the resources available to the state and the needs of others with mental
> > disabilities.''
> > There was no way to know how many of the 70,000 mentally disabled people
> > living in state hospitals nationwide might be affected by the ruling.
> > AP-NY-06-23-99 0247EDT
> > Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
> > news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
> > distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
> > ----------------------------------------------------------
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