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Reasonable Accommodations
supportfamily posted:
I know a little about diabetes as three of five siblings and my father were, or are, diebetic. I am a manager at a community college where one of my duties is to help the campus be sustainable, which includes lowering our energy use. Difficult task as I find many individuals believe they are, in their perception, an exception to the rule when it comes to heat/electrical appliances. The first flag thrown is the medical flag. I do want to do the right thing here and want to accomodate to the extent possible; however I am struggling with a couple of concerns raised.

My question: I have a diabetic individual who keeps a refridgerator, microwave, coffee maker and a fan in their small 8' x 8' office. We have asked all staff on campus to please use break-rooms and to not bring private appliances to their work space in an effort to reduce energy consumption. Does being diabetic require you to have a refridgerator, microwave, coffee maker and fan immediately at your fingertips to be safe and healthy?
DavidHueben responded:
In my opinion, no. That seems to be overkill.

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr
xring responded:
Those are more like "convenience" items that necessities.

I've used an insulated bag with that blue ice thing at work. Keeps food cold for several hours.

The only real necessities for diabetics are snacks in case of low blood sugar. Anything with carbs/sugar will do - granola bar, cookies, hard candies , fruit juice, soda or plain sugar.

Maybe a water bottle or access to drinking water since higher blood sugar can cause thirst.
The only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, do nothing
mhall6252 responded:
Nope, I worked in the Real Estate department of a very large company and we did not allow any of those appliances except for a fan. We had a break room on every floor, with shared appliances. It's not just an energy consumption issue, an unattended coffee maker becomes a fire hazard. Enforce your policies consistently and you should not have a problem with "reasonable accommodation."

davedsel57 responded:

I fully agree with all other posters. For most of my career I worked for large local banks in the Information Technology area. No one that I recall, not even higher executives such as the CEO, had these type of accommodations in their offices.

Michelle is right - if you consistently enforce the policies then there should be no problems. I don't believe there is any law or regulation - not even the American Disabilities Act - that would make this a requirement for an employee who is diabetic.

Good luck in getting this issue resolved.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story. Blessings, Dave
cookiedog replied to xring's response:
I agree with you, Xring. I have insulated bags in various sizes and some insulated containers. I take my stuff with me just fine with just those things. Why can't the person use the break room appliances?
auriga1 responded:
No, absolutely NOT necessary. Ridiculous. Selfish is one of the thing that comes to mind. Sorry.

You don't even need refrigeration for insulin if there is a cooling pack available for that person. Most insulins now come in injectable pens that you can keep in your pocket or purse. Once they are opened, no refrigeration necessary.
An_202827 responded:
I work in a laboratory and we are not allowed to keep any food in the lab at all for safety reasons.

I have never ever had a problem when my blood sugar starts to go low, washing my hands and heading over to our break room (across the hall) to get my food out of my locker or the fridge.

So my short answer is this person does not need to have all those things in their office if the break room is a reasonable distance away (like not in another building or on a different floor)
teddybear200 responded:
I do not believe this individual needs these items. First off diabetics need more exercise, so walking to the break room is a good idea.

If a cooler is needed they should bring one in with ice if need be - they don't need a personal refrig. As for the coffee pot - if the individual drinks a lot of coffee - they should bring in their own thermas. A personal coffee pot is a fire hazard.

Microwave - why would one need a personal one? They should go for a walk - use the one in the break room.

Personal fan - they should bring in one that is battery operated. I get warm all the time - mine runs on a battery and sits on my desk.

Enough said - you need to ask this personal to follow the rules.
One day I will soar on wings of an Eagle - Deb

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