Accommodating employees with breast cancer

Consequently, many employers have had to address issues related to the reintegration of workers following their treatment and the alteration of work schedules and environment to accommodate any lingering cancer-related impairments.

Most cancer survivors who worked before their diagnosis return to work following their treatment (Spelten et al., 2002).

The employer then began weekly performance reviews and she was terminated about one month after her cancer diagnosis.

The Court wrote: “We agree that cancer can – and generally will be – a qualifying disability under the ADA.” However, an individualized assessment must be made to determine if the cancer limited any substantial life activity.

“I was honestly at this pinnacle moment of my life,” she said. Way to go, Ayanna.’” The next month, she got diagnosed with breast cancer: stage 4, metastatic, just like her mother was battling.

As she reeled from that news, many fears crossed her mind.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) broadly prohibits disability based discrimination when an employer has 15 or more employees.

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If the applicant or employee is otherwise qualified for the position, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless such accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship.

Each woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer meets that need differently and has to learn how to incorporate not only the implications of the diagnosis physically, in this case hormonal therapy, but the emotional impact of how that affects our future.

Employers are not obligated to provide unlimited leave, so check the amount of leave you're entitled to. Your oncologist and oncology nurse should certainly meet with you before you begin treatment to discuss in detail which side effects you can expect and how best to prevent and manage those side effects.

In early 2013, Ayanna Kalasunas felt on top of the world.

She’d just gotten engaged and was working in e-commerce operations at a Philadelphia-based retailer.


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