With the latest headline on Valerie Harper being sued for withholding her cancer diagnosis, the concerns for others who are facing cancer are mounting. Should they worry of how they will be treated due to a cancer diagnosis? Will they lose their jobs for fear that they will no longer be able to be productive? Can they be sued for keeping their illness private?
According to the federal law and many state laws, an employer cannot treat you differently from other workers in job-related activities because of your cancer history as long as you are qualified for the job. You may be protected by these laws only if you are qualified for the job (you have the necessary skills, experience and education) and you can do the essential duties of the job in question; and
your employer treated you differently from other workers in job-related activities because of your cancer treatment or history.
However, there are some areas which are not as definitive and varies from state to state. Barbara Hoffman JD, of the Cancer Survivorship Institute shares a bit of insight into the role of survivorship and employment.
While each journey is unique, we all share a common theme - cancer changes our lives forever.