Addressing Workplace Discrimination

A good first step to addressing workplace discrimination is to gather information about anti-discrimination laws as they apply to you:

  • Contact the American Diabetes Association and the other resources
  • Enlist assistance from your union, or consult an attorney
  • Keep all documents that relate to your claim, such as letters from your employer
  • Obtain copies of applicable general documents, such as personnel policies
  • Keep a log and write down everything that happens to you including names and dates.

Educate and Negotiate

Discrimination based on diabetes is often the result of ignorance. Because diabetes is usually not a "visible" disability, many employers do not understand its nature and treatment.

Problems can sometimes be resolved through education about the disease and about your medical needs and your abilities.

Your employer may not be familiar with the provisions of anti-discrimination laws and should be provided with this information as well.


Sometimes it takes legal action to end discrimination.

Usually, you are required to begin by filing a charge of discrimination with the appropriate government agency. If the employer is a private company or state or local government, file a charge with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with your state anti-discrimination agency. (You can file with either the federal or state agency and your complaint is considered to be filed with both.)

If the employer is the federal government, contact the internal Equal Employment Opportunity office of the agency where the discrimination occurred.

You must act promptly because the time limits for taking action are often very short. If the agency does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you can file a lawsuit in federal or state court claiming discrimination on the basis of disability.


The American Diabetes Association works to change laws and policies that are unfair to people with diabetes.