Diabetic Walgreens Worker Fired for Taking Chips

Her blood sugar was low, but chain has zero-tolerance policy
By Luke Kelly-Clyne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2011 4:31 PM CDT
It proved to be an expensive bag of chips.   (Shuttershock)

(Newser) – What's worth more: An employee who's worked for 18 years with an unblemished record, or a $1.39 bag of chips? For Walgreens, the latter. Josefina Hernandez, a diabetic employee at a San Francisco Walgreens store, grabbed a bag of chips to boost her blood sugar when she felt a hypoglycemic attack coming on. She paid for the bag later that same day and explained what happened, but Walgreens fired her, citing its zero-tolerance theft policy, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing on her behalf for back pay and other damages, accusing the chain of discriminating against a disabled worker. "Accommodating disability does not have to be expensive, but it may require an employer to be flexible and open-minded," said an EEOC attorney.

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