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ADA protections for diabetes sufferers

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Employment Law

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans. It is a condition that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can impact Tennessee residents’ daily lives and may qualify them for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. It protects individuals with disabilities in employment, housing, public accommodations and transportation. Diabetes is a disability under the ADA if it substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as eating, sleeping or working.

In the workplace

Under the ADA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. This can include providing a modified work schedule or allowing breaks to monitor blood sugar levels and administer insulin. Employers are prohibited under employment law from discriminating against employees with diabetes in the hiring process or in any other aspect of employment.

Public accommodations

The ADA also applies to public accommodations, such as restaurants, movie theaters and other places of business. These businesses must provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, such as allowing them to bring food or drink into a theater or restaurant to manage their blood sugar levels.


Individuals with diabetes are also protected under the ADA in housing. Landlords must provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, such as allowing them to have a service animal or installing a ramp to accommodate a wheelchair.

Undue hardship for employers or businesses

It is important to note that the ADA does not require employers or businesses to provide accommodations that would cause undue hardship. An undue hardship is a significant difficulty or expense that would make it unreasonable for an employer or business to provide the requested accommodation.

Diabetes sufferers have protections under law

Diabetes can qualify individuals for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers and businesses must provide all possible assistance to diabetes sufferers, within reason. If you have diabetes and feel that you have been discriminated against, you can seek to determine and exercise your rights under the ADA.