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Cancer patients and workplace discrimination

California residents who have cancer and are still working should know that many in their situation still face workplace discrimination. This is in spite of the Americans with Disabilities Act , according to a study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. However, the study also shows that oncologists and oncology providers can help with creating customized and effective workplace accommodations for people with cancer.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was established in 1990. It was amended in 2008 so that the impairment due to chronic diseases could be one of the disabilities included in the ADA.

The study was intended to determine what type of effects the amendments have had on discrimination that targeted workers with cancer. The researchers took Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims data from 2001 to 2008, before the ADA Amendments Act was passed, and compared it to the data that was collected from 2009 to 2011, after the legislation was enacted. The data indicated that there was a significant increase in the claims of workplace discrimination related to employment terms and relationships at work after the Amendments Act was passed. The numbers of allegations related to reasonable accommodations, terminations and hiring were similar before and after the passage of the Amendments Act.

The authors of the study concluded that people who have a history of cancer continue to face various forms of workplace discrimination. Factors that were not considered in the study included the severity and type of cancer of workplace discrimination victims, treatment exposures or long-term effects.

An attorney who practices employment law may assist victims of workplace discrimination with holding the liable parties financially responsible. Employers may be reported to the appropriate federal agency and sued for discrimination or harassment based on disability, race, or age.

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