Has anyone ever had a problem with their boss saying "why are you sick all the time? You're always sick!"

I work in Medical Sales so I spend a lot of time in Hospitals and Universities. My boss one day was asking me why my sales were down and I told him I was out of work for a week because I had gotten the Flu. He then said "why are you always sick? Are you just like always sick?" He  knows I have juvinile diabetes and made that comment so bluntly. I was shocked. I have a lower immune system then the normal persona and I work around sick people. Then he went on to make a comment about me having A.D.D. I work in a small company so if I talked to HR it would get strait to him. But what should I do to make sure my back is covered? I am a great worker and great at my job but diabetes does play its toll.

Does your boss know the importance of your sick day routines??   I try not to use my diabetes as an excuse (god only knows I am not the poster boy of good control) but I have had numerous discussions with teachers, professors, managers (you name it!!) about my sick days. My blood sugars go crazy on sick days, and I find that I have to spend more time focusing on my numbers and my care. Some people respect what I explain to them, and some people don't. The bottom line is that you are what you are (diabetic) and it is up to you to take care of yourself!!

That really is very lousy. I'm sorry that you are dealing with someone like this. Where I work, we just went through "Standards of Behavior" training, and one of the things that we are now supposed to do is, according to one coworker,  tell on each other if one of us is not "up to par." Did I mention that I teach at a university? Well, yesterday, I had to cancel my first class. Every time I cancel a class, I am paranoid that someone is going to pull that particular "You're Sick...Again..." weasel out of a hat.

I don't feel safe to properly treat my health because in my state, lovely South Carolina, we are at will, meaning any employee can be fired or quit at any time without a cause. When I arrived at work, a machiavellian coworker cross examined me about where I was and what had happened. And I had to tell her. What business is it of hers where I was or what I was doing? Now I am thinking, "Is this the kind of treatment I can expect each and every time I get sick or have to change my office hours?"

There are supposed to be laws to protect people like us, but where are they? What your boss said was cruel, by the way. That's my take on it. Talk about an abuse of power. Even if it's just here alone, I want you to know that this was wrong. I am a great worker as well, but I too have had rough days. I work when I should not work because I do not feel safe otherwise.

I also want to know what measure of protection I have against violations of privacy. Do I have to "explain" myself to any person who is curious any time that I am not at work or change my schedule? What protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act do I have?

I'm like you. What you went through is unethical. I too want to know if there are any protections. My job is stressful enough without having to field intrusive questions from someone who is not my supervisor.

Crochet Nut is right there are laws to protect you. Here is the web site for the ADA in your area.


I can only relate as I had something similar happen when my son was first diagnosed earlier this year. I work in marketing in Med Device. About a month after Diabetes dx, my son also came down with Lyme disease which took over 3 weeks to diagnose, we were in to the dr every Mon for three weeks. On one of those days my boss said "you have had to call in sick or with a sick child 8 times already this year" (and it was only July). So here I was struggling with having a son with a chronic, life altering illness and some mystery sickness on top of it, and my boss wants to complain that I was calling in sick! In most of those cases, I did work from home.  I was very taken aback.

I work for a large company, so I did talk with HR. Basically, they said I needed to apply for intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). I would recommend that you explore if you are eligible for it. Then you have some protection. (But depending on the size of your company, you may not qualify.) Just google FMLA and you will find the gov. site so you know what to expect in your company policy.

I would also report to HR because of the comments on your health and the ADD. (Do you have ADD and does your boss know it?) If not, that comment was WAY out of line. If yes, still out of line. Yes, your report to HR will likely get back to him, but it does need to go in your HR file that you reported it, if you ever need to take any further legal action. (I know, not nice to think about, but you need to do the things that protect your job.)

I agree with the other posts on checking out the American Disability Act provisions as well.

Finally, I would make sure your boss knows if you are taking time off because you are sick. I know it can be harder in sales, because you set your own hours, and just have to make your number, but if you are out for more than a day, I would make sure he knows - with the reminder that it may affect your number for the month, but that you'll do everything you can to not let it!

I hope these suggestions help, I have HATED every time I've been in crappy HR situations similar to this, but you need to do what needs to be done. I am glad you still see yourself as a great worker! I am sure you are!

The thing about the sick comment is ridiculous. I mean we all get sick and sometimes it takes more of a toll on us than upon others. It is not good, but we all do what we can to survive whatever we face. While the ADD comment may have been meant as a joke, unless you really have it I would focus on the other part. I would get research about diabetics and health and anything you can find that talks about a lower or compromised immune system. Schedule a meeting with him and give him the information so that way he knows why you are "always" sick. Even with an ever increasing amount of information out there people do not take the time to find the information they are looking for and would rather just assign the blame to something else. You can only be diplomatic in how you address things and educate him, to avoid commends like that in the future.

tat sucks im not a diebetic but my friend is soo i remember this one time when adriana (my friend) was in the middle of a test and she started to have a sezure attack i wasnt in the same class as her but i heard about it and we were in a fight tat day and i said "i wish you would die" so when i heard wat happened i blamed myself and when she waz on her way out in the bed thingy i started crying and i said i waz sry a milion times and she said it was okso i felt a little better and then sum1 waz makin fun of adri so my other friend acorn went rite in2 there face and yelled @ them it waz soooooooo cool the way she stood up for adri sooooooo yea it doesnt rely relate but i like telling tat story idk o and the teacher waz mean soo she failed her on the test i no wat a b***h