Be the Boss Over Cancer

I'm wondering if I might be eligible for FMLA & ADA protection as I'm a contractor on W2 receiving full benefits from my contracting company. I've been working for them on the same work assignment for 14 months straight. 

I'm in t


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Feb 25, 2013

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Camille,

    Thanks for reaching out! It looks like your post was cut off, could you send over the rest of your question so that we can provide you with the best answer?


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

  • Camille R.

    Camille R. on Feb 25, 2013

    Yes, I'm not sure what happened there. I was just going to say that I'm in the middle of my second fight with breast cancer and reconstruction. 


  • Eva LaManna

    Eva LaManna on Feb 28, 2013

    Cancer Rights Attorney Comment:

    Hi Camille,

    These are important questions you have asked about who is
    eligible for the protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and
    the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While you gave me a great start in
    trying to figure out if you fall under the protections of these two Acts, there
    is still some information you will need in order to know for sure. However, the
    basics of both are below.

    Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks
    of leave time within 12 months, which can be taken all at once or in smaller
    segments, such as a shorter workweek. In order to be eligible for FMLA leave,
    an employee must work for a state or local government or private employer with
    50 or more employees, who work within a 75-mile radius of the employee’s
    worksite.  An employee must also have worked for the employer for a total
    of 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours during those 12 months.  Based
    on your post, you have been at your current employer for at least 12 months,
    but I wasn’t sure of the size of your company or how many hours a week you
    work? There are also several different ways in which employers can calculate
    this 12 month period, so you should also check with your human resources (HR)
    department if possible to see what your employer’s policy might be.  

    Some states also have medical leave laws that may offer even
    more time off than the FMLA.  For more info on the FMLA and to find out if
    your state offers more time or possibly even paid medical leave, contact the
    U.S. Department of Labor at
    or your state's Department of Labor.

    The ADA, on the other hand, provides protections to eligible
    employees by preventing certain employers from making employment decisions
    based on an employee’s cancer diagnosis.  The ADA applies to private employers
    with 15 or more employees and protects against discrimination toward employees
    with disabilities in situations such as hiring or firing, taking leave from
    work or requesting reasonable accommodations.  Cancer can be considered a
    disability under the ADA, although it is determined on a case-by-case

    Employers are required under the ADA to provide reasonable
    accommodations to qualified employees with a disability, as long as the
    accommodation requested won’t cause the employer an undue hardship. 
    Reasonable accommodations under the ADA are changes in your workplace that will
    help you to continue to perform your job.  For example, working from home
    or reduced work hours for appointments or recovery might qualify as an
    accommodation depending on your workplace and job responsibilities. For more
    information about the ADA, visit,
    and for more info on reasonable accommodations, check out

    I hope this provided some answers for you, but please feel
    free to reach back if you have any further questions!


    Eva LaManna, Esq.

    Manager of Programs

    note that the above information is designed to provide general
    information on the topics presented. It is provided with the
    understanding that the expert is not engaged in rendering any legal or
    professional services in the information provided above. The information
    provided should not be used as a substitute for professional services.

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