Can’t Eat at Work – What Do I Do?

September 21, 2009 by sparktalk


Dear Experts,

I have a physical ailment that requires me to eat throughout the day. I’ve been at my new job for two weeks and have learned that taking breaks to eat is frowned upon. Aside from my lunch hour, I’m expected to work the entire day with only two breaks. This doesn’t work for me.

I told my boss about my ailment yesterday and how I need to eat every hour. He said, “Why didn’t you bring this up in the interview?” I didn’t bring it up because I knew it would cost me the job. So now what? My boss says he can’t make accommodations for me and that if I can’t follow the job requirements as stated I could be fired.


Eating something every hour seems to be a reasonable accommodation that may be covered under the American’s with Disabilities Act.  Get a note from your doctor and speak with someone in Human Resources about this.  Consult your doctor as well to see if there is any alternative treatments.

You don’t indicate what type of job you have or how much you have to eat.  Is it possible to have a little something in your pocket that you can eat between breaks?

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
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