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Cancer patients often the victims of workplace discrimination

Being diagnosed with cancer, in any of its awful forms, can be devastating. There are no guarantees that treatment will work, and the physical toll that the treatments and illness have on one's body can be debilitating. Despite the effects cancer can have on a person's body, many cancer patients continue to work for as long as they possibly can. Unfortunately, there are those individuals in Michigan and elsewhere who find themselves the victims of workplace discrimination because of their medical conditions.

In 2009, amendments were made to the American with Disabilities Act in order to protect workers with cancer or whose cancer is in remission. Unfortunately, according to a recent study, it does not appear that the change has really helped. Numerous claims of workplace discrimination are filed every year by cancer patients.

According to the ADA, those with cancer qualify to have reasonable accommodations made in order for them to continue performing the functions of their jobs. One's oncologist can provide a list of needed accommodations to one's employer so that reasonable adjustments can be identified, negotiated and put in place. If an employer fails to adjust one's work responsibilities or if one is wrongfully terminated because of his or her illness, one has the right to file claims in court and with the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Handling a cancer diagnosis is hard enough without having to deal with an employer who is unwilling to make reasonable accommodations on top of it. Those in Michigan who believe that they are the victims of workplace discrimination because of cancer or other illnesses may be entitled to take legal actions against their employers. In doing so, if successful, compensation for any losses experienced may be achieved.

Source:, "Cancer-Based Workplace Discrimination Persists Despite Disability Law, Study Finds", Christina Mattina, April 19, 2017

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