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From WHYY- NPR Philadelphia, July 10, 2014.
Some companies use diabetes as a reason to not to hire.
"Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Often—though—it is in violation of a number of laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act," said attorney Gregory Paul, a legal advocate for the American Diabetes Association.
Paul said employers in the transportation and law enforcement industries—in particular—get concerned that a worker with diabetes will have a medical emergency.
"Our point is that most people don't experience hypoglycemia, or severe hypoglycemia to the extent that it would interfere with work at all," Paul said.
Paul said he's working to fight discrimination.
Companies are allowed to evaluate if a worker can safely do a job, but that assessment is supposed to come after someone is offered the position.
"That's really at the heart of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act]--to provide an individualized assessment rather than a blanket ban," Paul said.
In 2008, a rule change made it clear that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with diabetes.
Paul said too often employers find out someone has diabetes, then assume there's going to be a problem.
A few cases end up in court, but Paul says most disputes about "reasonable accommodations" get settled with a few phone calls and some negotiation.
"Particularly when we can get the doctors talking," Paul said.
"I think the vast majority of people with diabetes are able to work without any accommodations, able to work without any necessity of sharing that information with their employers or coworkers," Paul said. "It's a private matter. To kind of flag that person could be inviting desperate treatment or discrimination that's, of course, unwelcome."
Jury Awards 1 million dollars in punitive damages for a racial hostile work environment, Shreveport, LA- April 8, 2006 by S. Reed Morgan and Gregory G. Paul
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Greg Paul has 20 years experience litigating in state and federal courts: 1) Fighting for long-term disability benefits against insurance companies such as Aetna, CIGNA, Guardian,Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, Principal, Prudential, Reliance Standard, Standard, Sun Life, and Unum; and 2) Representing Railroad Employees Against Amtrak, CN, CSX, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad.