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 which means on this work with rehabilitation sufferers and has loved his accountability of conducting affected person checks across the 23-acre campus.

James’ sort 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 beneath 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 choice was to have his toe amputated.

When his FMLA go away ran out, James was advised by his employer that he was not entitled to some other sort of go away beneath the legislation. James researched his rights beneath the Americans with Disabilities Act and realized that he’s protected towards incapacity discrimination and is entitled to affordable lodging. He reached out to his employer to debate potential affordable lodging that may allow him to proceed to do his job, considering, for instance, that a scooter is perhaps a workable choice to permit him to proceed to do his affected person checks across the campus. However, his employer refused to entertain his strategies. 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 info and steering about his authorized rights. A Legal Advocacy lawyer walked James by way of his rights beneath federal antidiscrimination legal guidelines. They mentioned potential affordable lodging that he is perhaps entitled to, resembling prolonged go away or different lodging that would allow him to do his rounds. They additionally mentioned potential 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 choice. However, armed with information about his authorized rights, James felt a brand new sense of confidence and determined to put in writing a letter to this former employer, each to coach them concerning the rights of individuals with diabetes and the obligations of employers and to request that they observe by way 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 nice 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 hassle to forestall and get rid of discrimination towards folks with diabetes at work, at college and in different components of day by day life. If you need assistance, name 1-800-DIABETES or go to diabetes.org/gethelp.



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