Articles on Employment Issues
Articles from Diabetes Forecast® (DF) must be used as is, and may not be altered for other purposes.
- Articles may be reprinted for educational and not for profit purposes (to increase awareness).
- Reprints (of articles) must retain the proper citations already printed in each pdf file, including: author, date of DF issue, page numbers, title of article.
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- The front page of each article, from the original pdf file, may be enlarged for use as a visual (such as a poster or sign) – as is, without altering the colors, spacing, font or other aspects.
- It is acceptable to quote passages from articles, with proper attribution included. Proper attribution includes the name of the magazine (ex: Diabetes Forecast®), issue month and year and title of the article. The style is to put the title of article in quotation marks – see example below. If the passage is a direct quotation from a source in the story, that person's name, credentials, and affiliation should also be noted – see example below.
- Example of a citation: Diabetes Forecast®, November 2011, "Two Wheeled Advocacy."
- Example of a quotation: "For me, it became more of an awareness [campaign], to put the bill on their radar screen." Marcus Grimm, Lancaster, PA, Member of Team Type 1.
Date: April 2003
Topic of Article: Lone Star Jeff Kapche (1)
Type of Employment Case: Police Department, Driving as Essential Job Function
Jeff Kapche, a police force applicant, was not hired by the San Antonio Police Department (PD). They argued his insulin-dependent diabetes prevented him from driving safely and that driving was an essential component of the job. The PD's medical team did not assess Mr. Kapche individually, but deemed him unfit- automatically- on the basis of his diagnosis. Through multiple years of litigation, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that employers must make individualized assessments of applicants to determine ability to perform essential functions of the job.
Date: July 2003
Topic of Article: Partners For Fairness, Guest Editorial
Type of Employment Case: Necessary Accommodations on the Job
Due to her neuropathy pain, Judith Keane needed an accommodation (for her job at Sears) to be able to take a shortcut through the stock room.
Michael Landers, Wal-Mart employee, needed an accommodation to be able to leave his assigned post to get a snack when his blood glucose was low.
Date: October 2003
Topic of Article: Coast Guard Blanket Ban Overruled for Officer with Diabetes
Type of Employment Case: Coast Guard, Blanket Ban
Based on a blanket ban policy, the Coast Guard moved to discharge Jeremy Wright, an active duty officer, after finding out that he had been diagnosed with type 1. Mr. Wright appealed, and the Physician Evaluation Board determined he could remain on active duty.
Date: May 2005; June 2006
Topic of Article: Fighting Workplace Discrimination (May 2005); Diabetes Goes to Court–Gary Branham (June 2006)
Type of Employment Case: IRS: Special Agent Carrying Firearm Would Be a Direct Threat
Gary Branham, an IRS agent in Indianapolis, IN applied for a special agent position that would require him to carry a gun. The IRS denied him the promotion, claiming that his diabetes would make him a direct threat to himself and others, if he were to be in the position and carry a gun. His lawsuit was successful; the jury decided Mr. Branham was qualified to become a special agent.
Date: March 2006
Topic of Article: Important Legal Victory for Workers with Diabetes–Rudy Rodriguez
Type of Employment Case: Factory Worker Not Medially- Qualified Based on Cursory Exam
ConAgra rescinded an offer of employment to Rudy Rodriguez based on tests during on a medical exam that showed high glucose levels in his urine - finding that he was not medically-qualified to work at their plant in Fort Worth, TX. After an appeal, Mr. Rodriguez won the case. The court ruled that a company cannot rely on the opinion of a doctor - based solely on a cursory exam, rather than on an individualized assessment of the employee.
Date: September 2006
Topic of Article: The Good Fight–Gilberto Wise
Type of Employment Case: Court Security Officer, High A1C
Gilberto Wise was let go from his position as a court security officer in San Antonio, TX when the United States Marshals Service (USMS) learned that, during his employment, he had an A1C of 8.8. He and his wife filed suit and the case was settled favorably in three ways. The USMS agreed to: consult with treating physicians, involve a board certified endocrinologist and stop using A1C as a cutoff.
Date: October 2007
Topic of Article: Fighting For Your Rights; Americans With Disabilities Act Restoration–Stephen Orr
Type of Employment Case: Fired for Taking Lunch Break
Stephen Orr, the sole pharmacist at a Wal-Mart in rural NE, was fired for closing the pharmacy for a half hour each day to eat his lunch. Unfortunately, Mr. Orr lost his case. But the law has changed since then and now embodies a much broader definition of what it means to have a disability.
Date: May 2009
Topic of Article: Defeating Discrimination; Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Feature 1
Type of Employment Case: Defeating Discrimination: Various Employment Stories
State: OR, TX, IN
A new law protects people with diabetes – in the workplace. Profiles various employment cases/success stories: (Jeff Kapche, Gary Branham, John Steigauf, Rebecca Fraser, Rudy Rodriguez, Gilberto Wise)
Date: October 2009
Topic of Article: Cracking the Case–Jeff Kapche (2); Diabetes Discrimination at the FBI
Type of Employment Case: FBI: Refusal to Hire Based on Not Using a Pump
Jeff Kapche successfully sued the FBI for its refusal to hire him based on his diabetes. The FBI had an unofficial policy of only hiring individuals who used insulin, if they used a pump, under the assumption that it better managed diabetes. A jury trial in federal court in DC found that the FBI had discriminated against Mr. Kapche when it refused to hire him as a special agent because of his diabetes.
Date: May 2013
Topic of Article: Officers - Gentlemen; Two Men with Diabetes Fought Back and Won–Shane Siegel, James Allman-Gulino
Type of Employment Case: Foreign Service, Automatic Ban on type 1 Diabetes
State: NY, VA
Shane Siegel (NYC) and James Allman-Gulino (Arlington, VA) both applied for the foreign service and passed all entrance exams, but were automatically denied positions based on their diagnosis of type 1, with no regard to how well their diabetes was managed. The policy was based on the potential to be stationed in a developing country where access to medical care is not sufficient for those with diabetes. With Association involvement, the State Department changed its policy to one of an individualized assessment, and both men are now stationed abroad.
Date: July 2013
Topic of Article: Career Counseling; Diabetes and Your Career
Type of Employment Case: Various Employment Stories, Workplace Rights
Legal rights regarding job interviews, job acceptance, reasonable workplace accommodations. People working in law enforcement, professional sports, scuba diving. One example: Adam Roth, Special Agent, Dept. of Commerce.
Date: July/August 2015
Topic of Article: Have Diabetes, Will Travel
Type of Employment Case: Accommodations for Work-Related Air Travel
Erin Argueta, of Stamford, Connecticut, has type 1 diabetes, wears an insulin pump and travels for work. Because she wears a pump, Erin often needs extra time to get through airport security. When Erin requested to leave for the airport earlier to make a particular work-related flight on time, her supervisor warned that, if she did so, she could be written up and disciplined for not obeying the organization's rules. She called 1-800-DIABETES for help from the American Diabetes Association. After learning about her rights and receiving expert guidance, Erin worked things out with her employer.