Keri N. on May 29, 2022
I was recently told my assignment on my project was ending and that my employer suggested I file for unemployment until I'm able to return to work full-time. I can't be without a job as I'm the sole income for my household. When should I divulge my diagnosis and can an employer retract their offer after I do? I haven't yet started chemo, I will this Wed. I plan to work full-time throughout unless I'm physically unable to do so.
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW
Jun 1, 2022
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
Thank you so much for reaching out to Cancer and Careers! It sounds like you have some decision-making to do in terms of your next move. Below, I've provided some resources and context to help guide you on your decisions.
If you’ve had a project come to an end in the past, what were you told to do after a project ends? Is unemployment the typical direction? You mentioned that is not an option for you in this case, so let’s think about what you can do. It sounds to me like you’re asking about disclosure when interviewing and looking for work. Our article Managing Disclosure When Looking for a Job outlines some of the considerations for disclosing when job searching. It’s not a black and white decision, and there are a number of factors to think about when deciding what, how much and with whom to share your personal health information. Try to to think of what is relevant to the situation and how sharing that information can be beneficial for your job prospects. It’s important to note, however, that you are not legally required or obligated to share your health or health history with your (current or prospective) employer, nor can they ask. When going into interview situations, keep in the back of your mind that the decision to disclose is a personal decision that includes the consideration of a number of factors.
I encourage patients to avoid sharing the “what ifs” and to only share what you know to be true currently. What I mean by that is, you don’t necessarily know how your treatment will affect you as everyone responds differently. Your healthcare provider will give you some sense of what can be expected but you don’t actually know until you begin your treatment. Perhaps you’ll feel totally fine and going to the office the day after receiving treatment will be no issue, but it could also be the case that you need a day or two to recover, so being mindful of scheduling your treatments for, say, a Friday so you can recover over the weekend, can not only help you to feel your best, but limit the impact on your ability to work. In this case, if you’re interviewing for a job, instead of saying you need days off, maybe inquire further about flexibility with schedules, remote working, etc. This can give you a better sense of if you need time off, how difficult it will be to get it or to have a more flexible work arrangement. Some of these questions can be answered in an interview, and some can be answered by doing your own research beforehand. Take a look at our article on Researching Employers to Help Inform Your Job Search for a better understanding of what might be helpful to explore before you decide to apply to certain companies. It’s always important to remember that job searching is a two way street, you want to find a place where you would be a good fit, but it’s also critical to find an organization that will also be a good fit for you. This means companies that are more flexible and supportive, have specific policies (leave, remote work, etc.) that could support your needs as you go through treatments, surgery, radiation, etc.
Having a sense of your legal rights and protections can put you in a better mindset and make you aware of what you’re entitled to and also potentially help to alert you of any possible red flags during the interview process. Our articles on Your Legal Rights in the Workplace and the Top Three Legal Questions about Employment can help you to be informed as you navigate the job search process while balancing your treatment needs.
I hope the above is helpful. If you have any remaining questions or concerns, or would like to speak with a CAC staff member, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk.
Best of luck on your job search!
Nicole Jarvis, LMSW (she, her, hers)
Assistant Director of Programs
Cancer and Careers / CEW Foundation
Jun 20, 2022
I had to quit my job due to my cancer and scheduling and how fatigued I have been I can't stand to long or sit to long but im not qualified for anything but a labor job and I can't do what I use to do anymore so what kind of job should I train for? I need knee surgery due to it being broke and didn't heal correctly and the cancer has gotten into my knee.
Dec 21, 2022
I was recently at a reputed government organization in Sri Lanka, as a Technical officer in IT. But unfortunately, my mother got cancer and become seriously ill. my father couldn't handle that situation alone with me, and because of that, I resign from my job and take care of my mom and dad. now my mother becoming well, can anyone help me a better online job or florigen job opportunity?
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