A cancer diagnosis can come out of nowhere. Some people feel fine and have no symptoms, while others have symptoms that something is not right, but cancer was the last thing on their minds. In any case, receiving a cancer diagnosis is a shock, and going through the treatments can wreak havoc on one's personal and professional life. Working while being treated for cancer is possible, but some California residents may find that they are victims of discrimination in the workplace during this already very difficult time their lives.
When a person has cancer, other people may view him or her as weak, unable and less productive than employees who are not fighting the disease. While an individual with cancer may require some accommodations in the workplace, that does not mean he or she is unable to do the job assigned or is incapable of moving on and doing more. Unfortunately, cancer patients often end up being:
- Passed up for promotions
- Excluded from training opportunities
- Offered little or no flexibility for medical appointments
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, these are all forms of discrimination, and none of them are okay. Here is the thing, those who become sick are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. These laws require employers to offer reasonable accommodations to sick employees and allow for time off for treatment and recovery. Employers are also unable to adjust an employee's health plan and coverage due to a cancer diagnosis or fire a person because of the same.
California residents who believe that they have been victims of discrimination in the workplace after receiving a cancer diagnosis do not have to sit by and take it. They may be able to hold their employers responsible for the mistreatment by filing claims with the EEOC as well as private civil claims. If such legal actions are appropriately navigated, compensation for any damages sustained may be achieved.