For the final two years, James Wilson has labored as a behavioral well being technician at an dependancy remedy heart in Illinois. James has discovered nice that means on this work with rehabilitation sufferers and has loved his duty of conducting affected person checks across the 23-acre campus.
James’ kind 2 diabetes by no means interfered with this job till final spring, when he started to develop diabetes-related foot ache. He initially took some go away below the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to deal with his foot issues. He needed to put on a forged twice, in addition to a boot for a while. Unfortunately, the issues worsened, and James developed a life-threatening an infection. His solely viable possibility was to have his toe amputated.
When his FMLA go away ran out, James was informed by his employer that he was not entitled to every other kind of go away below the regulation. James researched his rights below the Americans with Disabilities Act and realized that he’s protected in opposition to incapacity discrimination and is entitled to affordable lodging. He reached out to his employer to debate attainable affordable lodging that will allow him to proceed to do his job, pondering, for instance, scooter could be a workable possibility to permit him to proceed to do his affected person checks across the campus. However, his employer refused to entertain his options. His employer additionally grew to become nonresponsive when requested about incapacity insurance coverage to which he was entitled.
James had been out of labor for 2 months, with none pay or incapacity advantages and with none phrase from his employer. As far as he was involved, his employer had each intention of “just forgetting [he] existed.”
Feeling distraught and discouraged, James contacted our Legal Advocacy Department for data and steerage about his authorized rights. A Legal Advocacy lawyer walked James by means of his rights below federal antidiscrimination legal guidelines. They mentioned attainable affordable lodging that he could be entitled to, reminiscent of prolonged go away or different lodging that would allow him to do his rounds. They additionally mentioned attainable motion steps and explored criticism choices.
James quickly realized that his employer had shut down the ability the place he labored, so gaining employment once more was not a viable possibility. However, armed with data about his authorized rights, James felt a brand new sense of confidence and determined to write down a letter to this former employer, each to teach them in regards to the rights of individuals with diabetes and the obligations of employers and to request that they comply with by means of with backpay and incapacity advantages.
On the exact same day that James despatched the letter to his employer, he acquired a response. James shared the good information with our Legal Advocacy staff: “I took your advice and wrote a letter to my employer. It worked like magic. My employer…pushed my disability claim through their insurance, and they paid me retroactively…It was truly a godsend that I contacted you. I want to sincerely thank you, and I am knocked out by the service you provide to others…”
The American Diabetes Association leads the trouble to forestall and eradicate discrimination in opposition to individuals with diabetes at work, in school and in different elements of day by day life. If you need assistance, name 1-800-DIABETES or go to diabetes.org/gethelp.