Be the Boss Over Cancer

Manager's Kit

You’ve decided to disclose your cancer diagnosis to your employer, what’s next? The Manager’s Kit is designed for you to give to your boss to help start or smooth the conversation. We've laid out the "need-to-know" laws that relate to cancer in the workplace, successful workplace strategies and tips for working with your HR department. Begin navigating your cancer in the workplace here:

Download the complete Manager's Kit

(Note: You will be prompted to complete a short survey before each download begins. This survey is for internal purposes to ensure Cancer and Careers is designing publications that meet users' needs. Thank you in advance.)

Want to download or print a single section of the Kit?

Click below for individual PDF files:

  • How to Use This Kit
    • A short introduction to the Manager's Kit and ideas for approaching your boss and disclosing your diagnosis.
  • "Dear Supervisor"
    • A letter to your employer from Cancer and Careers, the leading credible resource on work and cancer. Give it to your boss to begin the conversation on balancing cancer treatment and recovery with work.
  • What to Expect when Your Employee has Cancer
    • The best antidote to confusion and hesitation is education. Learning how to manage an employee with cancer starts with having a clear understanding of what cancer is and having a list of reliable resources at your disposable when new questions arise.
  • "Need-to-Know" Laws
    • There are a number of federal laws that relate to cancer patient rights, discrimination and benefits. It's important to remember that these laws are for protection of both the employer and employee. Learn more about the ADA and FMLA.
  • Privacy Laws
    • Learn more about HIPAA and The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and how these laws apply to  privacy in the workplace.
  • Work Strategies
    • After the conversation between employer and employee has begun, the next step is to come up with a plan. This plan should be written and agreed upon by both the manager and employer, ensuring that everyone has the same expectations. This document suggests ideas on different strategies and solutions.
  • Creating a Flexible Work Plan
    • There are many ways for people to work through cancer treatment. This section offers various ideas for creating an accommodating work schedule. Keep in mind, the best strategy is often a creative mix, that adapts to the needs of both employee and employer as treatment progresses.
  • Working with Human Resources
    • A Human Resource department should be looked on-and called upon- as a valuable resource. They can help to navigate insurance and employee benefits, and give perspective on company precedent on accommodating employees with cancer.