Type 1 Diabetic Teens and Employment Rights

Taking care of diabetes in the workplace

Type 1 Diabetic Teens and Employment Rights

Type 1 Diabetic Teens have employment rights. Teens that are driving often start working too.

With both driving and employment, your Type 1 teen will be facing the same laws that affect adults.
During the teen years, it is important to have the discussion on how to stay safe at work.

Diabetes at work

Type 1 Diabetic teens have certain rights that apply in school. And there are also laws that will protect them in the workplace. It is easy to forget how soon our teens enter into the adult world.  During these teen transition years, disability employment rights should be a topic of discussion between the teen and parents.

To disclose or not to disclose

No one has to disclose their disability at a job interview or even at work. Of course, if a teen chooses to disclose their diabetes, employment laws protect them from being discriminated against.  And that includes the interview process.

Choosing to disclose

Choosing to disclose is always  a personal decision. Parents should discuss this with their Type 1 Teen before they start working. There are benefits to disclosing.  Since self-management and independence can still be developing in teens, diabetes management at work is important.

Disclosing can also provide an open dialogue with an employer to ensure that diabetes management remains a priority. Your teen should feel comfortable to check their blood glucose levels, snack and take breaks as needed.

As new drivers, it is also important that their blood glucose be within range prior to driving. Treatment prior to driving may result in late arrivals at work occasionally.  With open communication, a teen will feel less pressure about being penalized for treating their diabetes.


Teen employment is a great opportunity for a transitioning Type 1 Diabetic to prepare for independence. Educate your teen on their rights at work. Encourage them to self-advocate for what they need to manage their diabetes.


Employment rights for the future

Your teen will need to continue to understand their employment rights throughout their future. It is important to know if there any special requirements for jobs or careers they may pursue as adults. There are actually some fields which have strict guidelines. Your teen can pursue their dreams with Type 1 Diabetes but is important to have a plan.

Check out the more detailed resources from the American Diabetes Association for all of your employment questions.


Know Your Rights

Source:  American Diabetes Association 

American Diabetes Association Page

The American Diabetes Association is the best resource 
for employment rights with diabetes.

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