While knowing one’s legal rights in the workplace is always important, with a cancer diagnosis it is even more crucial to ensuring that you are being fully protected. President Obama’s administration has been driving a largely pro-employee regulatory agenda. As such, there have been some changes to labor laws, which will go into effect this year.
A recent update from Schnader Attorneys at Law highlighted a number of key resolutions. Here are a few that are particularly relevant to cancer patients and survivors:
Paid Sick Leave: In September 2015, Executive Order 13706 was signed, requiring federal contractors to provide their employees with an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works, up to seven paid sick days per year. This order is representative of the trend at both the state and local levels to require employers to provide sick leave.
Telecommuting As a Reasonable Accommodation to Disabled Employees: Many employers face the decision of whether to permit telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in the matter of EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., which stated that in-person attendance can be an essential function of the job and thus telecommuting may not qualify as a reasonable accommodation, the courts made it clear that in certain circumstances, when jobs are less interactive, telecommuting can be and is a viable reasonable accommodation. Cancer is recognized as a disability under the ADA; so for patients and survivors, reasonable accommodations, which can and often do include telecommuting, should be made available.
Affordable Care Act “Shared Responsibility” Requirement: For employers with 50–99 full-time employees, 2016 will mark the final implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s “shared responsibility” requirement to either provide affordable health insurance to eligible employees — and submit related reporting — or face penalties.
Cancer and Careers wants to empower you to thrive in your work environment. Being empowered is largely a result of being informed. So be sure to take advantage of the wide range of resources and information we provide on our site. To familiarize yourself with important legal information as it pertains to the workplace, check out our “Top Three Legal Questions About Employment” and our article on “Your Legal Rights in the Workplace.”