There was an article on Yahoo the other day about a diabetic who won a discrimination case against Walgreens. The diabetic, an eighteen year old employee of one of Walgreen’s stores three years ago, took a bag of chips and ate it to treat a low sugar episode…or ‘attack’ as it was described in the article. She was subsequently fired because it was store policy that employees pay for any food items before the item was consumed.
The girl sued, saying that her diabetes makes her disabled and that by firing her Walgreen’s violated her rights.
I’m not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, I don’t think its right that they fired her. She did pay for the potato chips after she recovered from the low and worked out the rest of her shift.
On the other hand, I’m bothered that she used diabetes as an excuse to have special rights.
I get that when you are low, you reach for whatever is at hand. Maybe the chips were closer at hand than any glucose tabs she might have had in her purse. And I get that her thoughts were likely fuzzy and she did not think about the consequences of her actions.
But, with this ruling, this one teenager labels all diabetics as ‘disabled’. While it might be helpful for some people on some levels, it could set a dangerous precedent for the rest of us.
With all the misconceptions about diabetes out in the world right now, do we really need to add this to the list?
I’m curious what everyone else thinks. Do you think the girl did the right thing by suing as she did? Could she have gone about it in a different way? Do you think this ruling will make things better, or worse, for other diabetics in the workplace? What about outside the workplace?