Be the Boss Over Cancer

I had cancer and I was on medical leave for 11 months. Before that medical leave, I had a week of medical leave about a month prior.

I got a letter two weeks ago that I needed to return to work by May 6 or face termination. I was also told to notify them if I need accommodations. I told them I needed accommodations. The doctor filled out an accommodation form limiting my work hours to 40 a week to begin with and limiting walking. I returned it a week before returning to work.

  I returned to work on May 6. After a few hours, I was suspended with pay. They said that they needed to do an investigation because there were allegations I dozed off while at my desk before going out on medical leave 11 months ago. It is likely true that I momentarily lost consciousness while sitting upright at my desk. I had stage 4 cancer at the time, and I also have a sleep disorder that I have been being treated for. Therefore it was a result of my disabilities and medical conditions, which they were aware of. They told me to wait at home and I would hear from them in a few days. I haven't heard anything yet.
My health has improved, and I know there are reasonable accommodations that can solve this problem.
I also think I am being retaliated against because I ask for accommodations.
I don't know what to do next.


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  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on May 8, 2014

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for writing to us. I have sent your question over to our legal experts who will get back to you soon.

    In the meantime, I would recommend checking out the Job Accommodations Network: They can help you with any questions you have about workplace accommodations. You can also reach them by calling (800) 526-7234.

    I hope that this is helpful.


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Associate Manager of Programs

  • Monica Bryant

    Monica Bryant on May 13, 2014

    Cancer Rights Attorney Comment:

    Hi Anthony, 

    I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.  Unfortunately, there is not a cut and dry answer I can give you.  In addition to Sarah's suggestion above of contacting JAN, I would also suggest considering contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency that enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to see if it may be appropriate to file a discrimination claim.  

    Information about filing a discrimination claim with the EEOC can be found at Please do keep in mind that in general, you will need to file a charge within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination occurred.  

    You may also want to consider contacting an employment attorney.  Many state and local bar associations have lawyer referral programs or you can contact 

    I hope that helps point you in the right direction.  Best of luck. 


    Monica Bryant, Esq.
    Cancer Rights Attorney
    COO, Triage Cancer

    Please 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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