Be the Boss Over Cancer

Navigating through all of your legal rights in the workplace can be tricky and overwhelming. So we are grateful to the Cancer Legal Resource Center for holding concise, valuable webinars outlining everything from disability insurance to genetics and the law. CLRC's most recent teleconference on employment law offered a meaningful overview of the major federal and state protections available to cancer patients and survivors in the workplace.  

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that offers protections for eligible cancer survivors against discrimination in the workplace. It also ensures that employers make “reasonable accommodations” to allow employees to function properly on the job. These accommodations may include a modified work schedule to allow for weekly doctor's appointments or providing an employee with a less physically taxing position (or could even be as simple as moving a file cabinet so it is easier to reach). For a broader overview and to find out who is eligible to receive protections under the ADA, read more here

Another federal law that seeks to protect survivors in the workplace is the Family Medical Leave Act, by requiring certain employers to grant a leave of absence when needed. As the CLRC explained, this act is designed to help you balance the demands of your jobs with your own health needs and possibly those of your family. In many cases, employers also must  restore your job when you return to work. We provide more info about the FMLA here.   

The CLRC's webinar not only covered these two acts, but also discussed state laws, insurance, and more. Find out about these topics in our Legal and Financial resources. And for further questions about specific legal issues you might be facing at work, contact the Cancer Legal Resource Center at


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  • Jon C.

    Jon C. on Feb 28, 2012

    Thanks Eva. This is an excellent posting that provides tons of useful information. Looking forward to future blogging!

  • Victor S.

    Victor S. on Feb 29, 2012

    Thanks for the link to this invaluable information. When I first got sick, I was hospitalized for many weeks before I was even aware of this type of info. For anyone going through initial employment stuff, I recommend speaking with an attorny and keep as many records as one can from your employer once diagnosed. After FMLA and any vacation/sick leave one has accumulated is used up, the "reasonable accommodation" stuff comes under scrutiny. I actually was fired after a recurrence of the cancer and have had to retain an atty for reddress of my issues.

  • User avatar

    Anonymous on Apr 4, 2012

    I am currently in legal mediation for violations of the ADA. I advise any cancer patient to have an employment attorney. I ended up in this situation of forced leave and discrimination, but I don't have to be a doormat. Know your rights, and don't be afraid to stand up for them!

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