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Thread: Insulin dependent diabetic terminated, another denied work due to disability Arizona

  1. #1
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    Default Insulin dependent diabetic terminated, another denied work due to disability Arizona

    Well, just like the title says...

    Long story short (Let's hope):

    Family member owns a trucking company, in this case it's a vehicle transport company. (Local)

    No CDL requirements as the trucks are small enough to not require the driver's to have commercial license.

    One current driver has been terminated due to being an insulin dependent diabetic. I don't have the full details of this, so I feel it is best left alone. However, an applicant was in fact denied employment due to being an insulin dependent diabetic...When I researched this, it appears that in CDL cases, there was once a restriction, but was altered for allowances in 2003. There is more detail to the law from '03 and several amendments which now allow any insulin dependent diabetic (within certain restrictions of health) can indeed drive commercially.

    I'm having trouble finding anything specific that allows for a potential employer to discriminate due to this disability. Anyone out there know more about this in Arizona?
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

  2. #2

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    Does this trucking company employ 15 or workers? If not, it would not be subject to the ADA or most other federal anti-discrimination laws. If, however, it does employ 15 or more workers, the termination of an insulin dependent diabetic and the refusal to hire a qualified insulin dependent diabetic may both contravene federal law protecting disabled employees.

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    Az. state disability discrimination law also applies to employers with 15 or more employees (in some states it's less).
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    ESteele, I don't disagree with a single word you've said, but I'm wondering how, or if, DOT regulations may come into this.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  5. #5

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    Cbg, I do not know whether DOT regulations come into play for a trucking company (or a “vehicle transport company”) which utilizes vehicles not requiring CDL drivers. Certainly, if the DOT does have regulatory oversight over such a company, then the agency’s regulations may come into play. I suspect, though, that a company which uses small trucks or similar vehicles is not subject to DOT oversight.

    Interestingly, OP suggested that DOT’s regulations would allow insulin dependent drivers at least under certain circumstances. While this proposition sounds reasonable, I do know whether the OP’s assertion is indeed accurate. If the OP is inaccurate, I suspect someone will come along in this thread and post the correct information.

    As stated above, if the company in question has 15 or more employees, it may have violated federal and state anti-discrimination law by taking the aforementioned adverse action against these insulin dependent drivers. Whether a DOT regulation would serve as a basis for a potential rebuttal explanation will depend in large part whether the DOT has any regulatory oversight here.

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    Fair enough. I know we do have at least one regular poster who has knowledge of DOT regs, so hopefully she will see this.

    As I said, I don't disagree in the slightest with your assessment as regards the ADA.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Um, I think I may be that poster. I at least know enough to be dangerous and the insulin dependent diabetic scenario is the bane of my existence. Federal law governs here though state law may be even more restrictive as states issue licenses, not the feds. Your MVA/DMV should be able to provide info on this as it relates to your state.

    If you want the ugly history on the diabetes issue, I can provide a link. The Reader's Digest version is that you can obtain a waiver to drive some commercial vehicles. A waiver is not guaranteed and not available for every endorsement. For example, school bus endorsements are not ever eligible for waivers. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regul...on/medical.htm gives the basics on insulin dependency.

    The size of the vehicle is only one consideration. Does the driver in question possess a license with the appropriate class and endorsements for the vehicle they will need to drive? If so, then you could be in hot water by denying them based on their history of diabetes.

    That said, if the driver in question is having performance problems and or is taken off driving by a doctor, the game changes. Unless you are the manager or know the full story, you probably aren't privy to that information. Coworkers may think they have the full story but I have yet to find that to be the case.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    Um, I think I may be that poster. I at least know enough to be dangerous and the insulin dependent diabetic scenario is the bane of my existence. Federal law governs here though state law may be even more restrictive as states issue licenses, not the feds. Your MVA/DMV should be able to provide info on this as it relates to your state.

    If you want the ugly history on the diabetes issue, I can provide a link. The Reader's Digest version is that you can obtain a waiver to drive some commercial vehicles. A waiver is not guaranteed and not available for every endorsement. For example, school bus endorsements are not ever eligible for waivers. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regul...on/medical.htm gives the basics on insulin dependency.

    The size of the vehicle is only one consideration. Does the driver in question possess a license with the appropriate class and endorsements for the vehicle they will need to drive? If so, then you could be in hot water by denying them based on their history of diabetes.

    That said, if the driver in question is having performance problems and or is taken off driving by a doctor, the game changes. Unless you are the manager or know the full story, you probably aren't privy to that information. Coworkers may think they have the full story but I have yet to find that to be the case.

    Sorry for the delay in returning, is anyone else experiencing trouble with the email notifications?

    Anyway, this is a fairly small company, I am almost 100% certain there are less than the magic number of 15.

    More so than anything, we were interested in who was right and who was wrong, there are other details that cannot be revealed to ensure privacy. Bummer, but that's life. This was and is an ongoing issue. It is possible that the appropriate authorities will be contacted; however, in this case, it won't be by me. Thank you all!!!
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CatBert View Post
    Sorry for the delay in returning, is anyone else experiencing trouble with the email notifications?

    Anyway, this is a fairly small company, I am almost 100% certain there are less than the magic number of 15.

    More so than anything, we were interested in who was right and who was wrong, there are other details that cannot be revealed to ensure privacy. Bummer, but that's life. This was and is an ongoing issue. It is possible that the appropriate authorities will be contacted; however, in this case, it won't be by me. Thank you all!!!
    Also - no special requirements for the trucks. No CDL or special endorsements required.
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

  10. #10
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    In this case, is there either a history of a inabiilty to control the condition or does the candidate lack a driver's license?
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElleMD View Post
    In this case, is there either a history of a inabiilty to control the condition or does the candidate lack a driver's license?
    No, neither applies.

    In this situation it appears that there was a simple case of the family member (company owner) chose to hire a stranger, rather than a family member who has been out of work for 6 months.

    The candidates are virtually identical in every other way, neither is experienced, nor does one have any benefit over the other. The company owner claimed the decision was made solely based on the disability being the sole disqualifying reason. This didn't sound legal to me, so I researched and of course turned to my friends here.

    Sad really, but I suppose we all have the right to choose.
    Last edited by CatBert; 06-15-2012 at 12:18 PM.
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

  12. #12
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    It is certainly a risky move to use a medical reason as THE reason to disqualify someone. If he had hired the family member because he was family or the other guy because he hates his cousin, both would be legal. As there are less than 15 employees though, ADA doesn't apply. State law is also set at 15.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

  13. #13
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    There are variations of medical waivers and sadly Arizona does not offer any.

    Originally, the dot regulations were somewhat irrelevant as there is no special endorsement required for driving this size truck. No cdl necessary either.

    This is ultimately a personal matter as it happened between family members. When advised by legal counsel, it was advised to alert the EEOC and the AZ AG Office. Again, that's up to them. Thanks for all the help!!
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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