If I’ve been working for months as a teacher in a public school with no air conditionning and have diabetes, am I protected by any labor laws or the disability act?

On average the temperatures have reached from the mid 80s to lower 90s. I was promised a unit before summer the portable ones and yet each time one comes in, it goes to someone else such as an administrator with no children to teach. I am nauseated, exhausted and faint because of the heat. I also have diabetes and shoot insulin 4 times a day. Am I protected by any labor laws or the disability act?

Asked on October 12, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The promises by your employer do not matter on this context, those are "gratuitous promises" thay they may frely go back on. However, IF there is a medical need for air conditioning for you not merely that you feel faint or nausous, but that there is medical evidence that as a diabetic, you need air conditioning to manage your condition or function, or that without it, you will suffer injury, then the employer may have to furnish it as a "reasonable accommodation," which is required under the law e.g. the Americans with Disabities Act.
If there is such a medical need, pull together documentation of it e.g. a note from your doctor relevant medical literature and armed with this material, speak again with your employer and request a reasonable accommodation for your disability. If they still will not provide it, contact the federal EEOC or your state equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint 


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