Cancer and Disability Discrimination

No matter your age, skin tone, gender or place of origin, cancer affects us all. The sad reality is those with cancer often face workplace discrimination due to misconceptions about their capabilities. Cancer may have meant a death sentence a century ago, but survival rates have increased decade after decade. Many Americans are able to continue working during, or return to work after treatment.

Discrimination against a job applicant or employee who has cancer or who appears to have cancer is illegal.  If you feel you are being treated unfairly due to a past or present cancer diagnosis, an attorney experienced in workplace discrimination can help uphold your rights. At Skilling O’Leary, we are those attorneys.

To better understand how we can help you, contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.

Your Rights Under the Law

Young woman with cancerThe Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) are laws that prohibit discrimination of those who are disabled due to injury, illness, or congenital defect.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against those who are considered disabled. Due to cancer’s ability to limit major life activities, both cancer survivors and patients qualify under this law. The ADA prevents potential employers from asking about your diagnosis or treatment during the application process. Disclosing your cancer status is your choice. However, disclosure gives your employer a chance to accommodate your needs.

The Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees who need to take a leave of absence due to their own illness, or that of a child, spouse or parent. The FMLA covers up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, and secures your company health benefits during that time. You also have the option to use your vacation and sick days during medical or family leave.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) is a California state law that prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment based on many protected classes, including mental and physical disability, medical condition, age, denial of medical and family care leave, or pregnancy disability leave and/or retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to one of these categories.

How We Can Help You

Proving you have been discriminated against due to a current or previous cancer diagnosis can be challenging. Often those who have cancer persevere through their treatments, working harder to prove they can fulfill their job duties despite disease. A free case evaluation from Skilling O’Leary can help you determine if you were:

  • Unfairly submitted to medical evaluation by a potential employer
  • Not hired due to cancer diagnosis
  • Denied reasonable accommodations to meet your job duties
  • Subject to harassment because of your illness
  • Demoted or fired due to illness
  • Denied or offered altered healthcare coverage

All of these actions are prohibited by law and are grounds for a cancer discrimination lawsuit.

Skilling and O’Leary are dedicated workplace discrimination attorneys. We understand the nuances of workplace discrimination laws and the methods to counter excuses employers use to cover their unethical business practices. We can gather the facts and work diligently to prove your case to get the compensation you deserve.

Get a Free Case Evaluation Today

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, neither should your workplace. No one should have to fight for their life and their livelihood at the same time. We’d like to help you on your path to full recovery. Contact us today by calling (619) 500-4027 or (720) 330-9000 for a free case evaluation and learn your next legal steps. There’s no obligation to you.


The materials on this Web Site are intended to be for informational purposes only and are not intended to be treated as legal advice. Each legal problem depends on its particular facts, and different jurisdictions have different laws and regulations. Because of these differences, you should not act or rely on any information from this Web Site without seeking the advice of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.

If you or a loved one have been victimized by unfair workplace practices, contact us today for a free case review.

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