SW Legal studies in Business

Diabetes Treatment Does Not Constitute Disability Under ADA
Description Appeals court affirmed that diabetes is not a disability under the ADA when diet and insulin can control it. An employee does not have the right to have their work schedule altered to take a longer-than-usual lunch break for the purpose of eating particular foods and taking insulin.
Topic Employment Discrimination
Key Words Disability Discrimination; Diabetes
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Orr, a pharmacist, must take insulin to control his diabetes and must eat a special diet within 30 minutes of taking insulin. This regime is followed morning, noon and night. Orr was the only pharmacist on duty at a Wal-Mart. His supervisor allowed him to close the pharmacy at noon to take his insulin and eat. A new supervisor told him that company policy was for the pharmacy to remain open during store hours and, since he was the only pharmacist on duty, he could not close the pharmacy during lunch. Orr refused to comply, contending that trying to eat and take insulin while on duty could cause physical difficulties. He was fired and sued for disability discrimination. The district court dismissed the suit; Orr appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. Health conditions that cause moderate limitations on major life activities do not constitute disabilities under the ADA. Adhering to a strict dietary regimen and taking a shot three times a day does not substantially limit the major life activity of working.

Citation Orr v. Wal-Mart Stores, 297 F.3d 720 (8th Cir., 2002)

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