Stephen Orr, a pharmacist at a Wal-Mart in Nebraska, was fired for taking lunch breaks to manage his diabetes. Yet he was never able to remedy this injustice.
Courts have been throwing out diabetes discrimination cases because of an absurd Catch 22, siding with employers who claim that a person with diabetes is "too disabled" to do the job, but not "disabled enough" to be protected by the laws!
That's what happened to Stephen.
The stakes are huge: if a person with diabetes isn’t covered by anti-disability discrimination law, then it's perfectly legal to fire or refuse to hire that person explicitly because of his or her diabetes.
It’s clear Congress intended to protect people with diabetes and other chronic diseases from discrimination when they passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. But that’s not how the courts have interpreted the law.
Help make sure that women and men who should be protected from discrimination are indeed protected! Tell the Senate to support "The Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration Act."
Dear Members of Congress,
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to protect people with disabilities, including a chronic illness like diabetes, from discrimination. And while the ADA has provided numerous benefits, a series of Supreme Court decisions have severely narrowed who is covered by the law such that many of those Congress meant to protect can no longer challenge unfair treatment based on their disability.
An absurd Catch-22 has developed where employers are allowed to say a person with a chronic illness like diabetes is "too disabled" to do the job, but not "disabled enough" to be protected by the laws. The case is thrown out and the person is never given the chance to prove he or she can safely and effectively do the work. Ironically, the better a worker does at managing his or her disease, the less likely he or she is to be protected from employment discrimination.
This isn't what Congress intended when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed with bipartisan support in 1990, and now you have a chance to correct that.
I hope you will show your support for your constituents living with diabetes and other chronic diseases and co-sponsor the Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration Act (S. 1881/H.R. 3195). Doing so will help the ADA rightfully reclaim its place among our nation's great civil rights laws.
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