Discrimination For Cancer At Work
If you have cancer or have been diagnosed with the ailment, this automatically places you at risk of stigmatization from society and the workplace. Again, this will also affect the type of work you can handle and for how long.
While many people choose not to work after being diagnosed with cancer, others continue with the employment. Unfortunately, some employers are known to discriminate against such employees due to the fact that they will be required to offer reasonable accommodation to them.
Cancer is treated as a form of disability, but this depends on the severity of your condition. Where cancer is considered a disability, an employee suffering from cancer should be protected from workplace discrimination.
If your employer seems to discriminate or allow discrimination against your due to cancer, you may file a claim.
Discrimination For Disability
Employment discrimination due to cancer may happen in different ways. If you have cancer, you may face the below problems:
- The employer argues that you are less productive
- Demoted to a less paid work
- No being promoted
- Being fired for requesting time off work
Most California employers have known how to treat cancer patients fairly and legally too. But this doesn’t happen to all. You need to know about top employment law firms if your employer seems to discriminate against you. Such firms can help you take reasonable action to ensure your employer pays for damages due to discrimination. You don’t have to feel anxiety that you have cancer and whether your employer may take adverse action against you. The law protects you against any discrimination.
Can I Get Reasonable Accommodation?
If you are protected under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), your employer has no right to discriminate against you. Such requires your employer to offer reasonable accommodation at the workplace for those with disabilities. Also, you have the right to negotiate for reasonable changes with your employer. But such changes must be practical. They should not cause undue hardship to the employer’s business. For instance, your employer could allow you to have more flexible working hours to have time to go for medical checkups or shift you to less demanding jobs. Again, you may receive other legal protections, such as getting leave under the Family Medical Leave Act(FMLA), that may allow you to get leave for medical or family reasons. The above has some restrictions on who may be covered. Therefore, you may need a lawyer who understands what may be applied in your case for disability discrimination in the workplace.
You should tell your employer that you have cancer. However, if such an employer doesn’t have any information and continues treating you the same as other employees, you cannot blame them. There must be communication on reasonable changes for your work. Your employer can not discriminate against you because:
- You have a disability. Your cancer is termed as a disability if it’s aggressive. With aggressive cancer, you may prove that you cannot perform a substantial gainful activity, but for other types of cancers, this may be termed as a medical condition
- You have a history of impairment. For instance, your employer should not discriminate against you because you had cancer and it was healed.
- He/she has an incorrect belief of your disability. Your employer should not discriminate against you because they believe you are disabled.
Note that if your cancer has not interfered with your ability to perform major life activities, you may not be protected under the ADA.
If you have cancer, you need time off due to your ongoing cancer treatments. If your employer is reluctant on this, you have the right to file a claim under the FMLA. The latter allows you to have up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for your condition. However, to be protected, you must meet certain criteria which can be better explained by a lawyer.
Filing A Wrongful Termination Claim
If your employer seems to discriminate against you because of cancer, you need to protect your right by filing a wrongful termination claim. However, you need to show the proper evidence, such as:
- Your employer fired you after learning of your cancer.
- Your employer learned of your situation but denied you reasonable accommodation, such as offering a less demanding job.
- Your employer started making critical comments on your cancer, and these were directed to you.
- Your employer started treating you differently from other workers; you can show that employees with the same experience were allowed training opportunities or were granted requested time-offs.
- You were demoted or fired after your employer became aware of your cancer disability.
An adverse employment decision may happen to an employee with cancer. If in such a situation, you may need to file a discrimination claim with the help of an experienced employment lawyer. Such a lawyer will guide you on the best cause of action to ensure you get compensated for the pain you may have gone through and damages you have incurred.