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Employment Discrimination Laws for Employees with Cancer

Dec. 18, 2017

A lot of people prefer to work during their cancer treatment, or go back to their jobs after they have recovered from the terrible disease. The decision to work during or after cancer treatment is influenced by many aspects such as the financial resources, health stability, progress of your recovery, and the type of activities involved in your job.

However, when such people go back to work, they face subtle or sometimes obvious discrimination at the workplace. For example, the employer or supervisor may assume that the medical condition of the employee has probably affected their performance or they have become less productive. Such assumptions lead to different types of discrimination, such as:

  • Considering other candidates for a new position

  • Demotion without a proper reason

  • Withholding a previously lined up job promotion

  • Restrictions in terms of flexibility for taking time off during work hours or taking days off for medical treatment and doctor appointment.

If you are being mistreated or discriminated at your workplace because you are a cancer patient or survivor, you should know about the laws that protect you and your employment.

Laws Protecting Cancer Survivors against Discrimination

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

According to the FMLA, an employee can take time off for tending to their ailment or to care for a parent, child, or spouse. The employee is entitled to receive:

  • 12 weeks of unpaid leave

  • The option to use sick and vacation leaves during family or medical leave

  • Continued employment benefits during leave

However, the FMLA is applied to organizations that have more than 50 employees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA prohibits a few kinds of workplace discrimination by employment agencies, labor unions, and employers against people who have had or still suffering from cancer. This act also covers employees of local and state government, Congress, and federal agencies. However, the ADA is applied to private employers that have 15 or above employees.

The Federal Rehabilitation Act

This act prohibits discrimination against employees with disability. All the employers who receive money, contracts, or equipment from the federal government are covered by the Federal Rehabilitation Act regardless of the workforce size.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

GINA forbids employers from terminating employees or making changes to their duties on the basis of their genetic information. It also prohibits them from requesting their employees to provide their family’s genetic information.

What Job-related Tasks are Covered by the Law?

Almost all job-related tasks are protected from discrimination by the state and federal laws, such as:

  • Terminating an employee;

  • Not hiring a person for an internship, job, or training program;

  • Screening out disabled workers

  • Punishing a worker for registering a discrimination complaint;

  • Providing unequal working conditions, pay, and benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and pension.

Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer Today

People suffering from cancer or the ones recovering from it are mostly subjected to discrimination at their workplace. But things don’t have to and shouldn’t be this way. You should talk to an experienced Roselle employment discrimination attorney to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today for a consultation.