Be the Boss Over Cancer

I am currently looking for a new job.  Until the end of the year I need every third Tuesday off for treatment.   Most likely once I’m offered a position I will be asked to do a drug screening. For some reason a lot of companies in my industry have drug screenings.

I’m looking for advice as to how to mention that I’ll need every third Tuesday off until the end of the year. My biggest concern is addressing cancer drugs and the drug screening.  Who do I mention it to? HR or the company that is doing the screening?


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  • Merle L.

    Merle L. on Jul 24, 2014

    I can't figure out how to edit my question so I'm adding an additional comment. I don't plan on saying anything until I am offered a position. I want to be prepared for when I get the offer. Thanks

  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Jul 24, 2014

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Merle,

    Thanks for reaching out. I have sent your question off to a couple of our experts to weigh in. In the meantime, I would recommend contacting the National Cancer Legal Resources Center ( for advice on the legal components of your question.

    Please let us know if you have additional questions and we will get back to you soon.


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Associate Manager of Programs

  • Julie Jansen

    Julie Jansen on Jul 29, 2014

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Merle, I can understand that this is probably causing a lot of stress for you wondering how to handle this. First, practically speaking while I do not know what kind of job you are looking for, a job search does take a while and so once you reach the offer stage you will have had interviewing practice regarding tough questions and will also be closer time-wise to the end of the year when your treatment ends.

    Have you considered asking your medical team if they have any advice for you about how to handle this, as well as what a drug test would show? As Sarah mentioned, there are definitely some legal ramifications involved that are important for you to explore.

    As for the time you need to take off - every third Tuesday, if you count the number of days you need off, they aren't that many. You can definitely take this time off within flex time, vacation, sick days, or personal days.

    I agree wholeheartedly that you probably don't want to bring this up until you are at the offer stage and just be prepared to answer any questions your prospective employer will have clearly and confidently. Good luck!

    Take care,


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