How Do You Deal With Migraine Discrimination At Work?


Is your migraine real or are you just trying to skip work?” Sounds like migraine discrimination at work?

Research has shown that migraine discrimination at work is highly common. It may come in the form of a missed promotion that was deserved or even a snide remark, but eventually, we are at the receiving end of this stigma.

A survey among Americans reported that 32% thought that people with migraine exaggerated their migraine symptoms while 36% believed that migraine is caused by one’s unhealthy behavior. In another survey with HR personnel, only half of HR personnel agreed that migraine is considered a disability[1]. Often, migraine discrimination at work is due to a lack of understanding and communication of the condition. Ultimately, migraine discrimination at work affects our career choice, progression, and financial status. That being said, no one should be feeling guilty for migraine.

While migraine does result in some unavoidable work productivity loss, migraine discrimination is never acceptable, whether at work or at home. You can still beat workplace discrimination and prove your mettle as a #MigraineWarrior.

Tips On Overcoming Migraine Discrimination At Work

Know Your Rights

  • Look out for anti-discrimination laws: For example, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to help employees overcome discrimination at work. As migraine is a protected condition under this act, you are legally protected from migraine discrimination at work. Do note that the migraine condition must be shown to impact your ability to complete tasks at work. 

Know Your Triggers

  • Workplace stress is a common migraine trigger. Find out ways to manage it, such as asking for a change in the department if the current one is causing you anxiety. Try requesting a lighter office air freshener etc if strong scents are a trigger for you.

Know Your Relief Methods

Know Your Value

  • While migraine can be debilitating, you can still excel at work if you communicate the value you can bring. Be proactive for company tasks or compensate for lost time. Communicate your competency and establish clear KPIs with your employers.

Migraine Discrimination At Work – Bottom Line

It is possible to have a migraine-friendly work environment, provided that the HR department and management are understanding of people experiencing migraine. Despite the circumstances, you can take active steps to ensure that you stay productive at work and migraine-proof your work environment.

Join 3.3 million users in living better work lives and fighting migraine discrimination at work the #MigraineWarrior way using the Migraine Buddy app. Click here to download your very own Migraine Buddy app now!


[1] Begasse de Dhaem, O. & Fuminiko, S. (2022). Migraine in workplace. eNeurologicalSci. 27.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

You Will Also Like

Back to Blog

Leave your mobile to get a link to download the app