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Disability Discrimination Based on Cancer

Los Angeles Attorneys Advocating for Employee Rights

Millions of Americans suffer from cancer, which is characterized by abnormal cell growth. How it affects any given worker depends on numerous factors, including the stage of the disease, the individual’s health, the site of cancer and the type of treatment. Often, cancer patients experience pain, fatigue, nausea, depression and respiratory ailments as a side effect of either cancer or treatment. Cancer survival rates have improved, but if you are dealing with cancer, you have a tremendous battle to wage. In addition to the physical and emotional costs, cancer treatments are usually expensive and burdensome. You should not need to deal with employment discrimination on top of that. Federal and California laws prohibit disability and medical condition discrimination based on cancer. At The Nourmand Law Firm, APC, our Los Angeles disability discrimination lawyers can advise you on your particular situation and represent you in a lawsuit so that you can focus on your health.

Disability and Medical Condition Discrimination Based on Cancer

People with cancer often face employment discrimination because of employer and coworker perceptions of their ability to work while undergoing cancer treatment or after having cancer. Often, employers believe that someone who has had cancer will take long breaks from work to be treated, or they may not understand the concept of remission. Employment discrimination exists when an employer takes certain adverse actions based on a protected characteristic, such as a disability or a medical condition. Not all cancer patients are disabled, but an employer’s perception of a disability that results in adverse treatment may also give rise to a disability and medical condition discrimination claim in California.

Disability and medical condition discrimination are prohibited by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Under federal law, individuals with disabilities are those who have impairments that substantially limit major life activities, have a history of such impairments, or are perceived as having a disability. Only employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the ADA. FEHA provides protection to employees of smaller companies.

The ADA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). People who have cancer or have cancer in remission should be able to meet the ADA definition of disability. Normal cell growth may be construed as a major life activity, and even people in remission may have a record of an impairment that previously substantially limited their life activities or else may be regarded as impaired by cancer. Under FEHA, a disability is defined as any medical condition that limits a major life activity. However, cancer is also considered a protected characteristic because it is a medical condition that counts as a protected characteristic. FEHA generally provides broader protections than federal laws.

Some signs of disability and medical condition discrimination include refusing to hire you because of cancer, public shaming due to cancer, threats or harassment related to your cancer, being denied a promotion or training due to cancer, or being left out of a meeting because of your cancer. You are entitled to reasonable accommodations for your cancer as long as the accommodation does not result in an undue hardship. If your employer refuses to provide these, the refusal may be a disability and medical condition discrimination. For example, if you have cancer, you may need some flexibility to allow for your doctor’s appointments to get treatment or take time off for treatment and recuperate from treatment and depending on the circumstances, this may be a reasonable accommodation.

Consult an Experienced Disability and Medical Condition Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you have faced disability and medical condition discrimination based on cancer, you may have a basis to bring a claim for damages. At The Nourmand Law Firm, APC, our Los Angeles disability and medical condition discrimination attorneys strive to provide aggressive and experienced legal counsel and representation to employees who have been wronged in the workplace. We also can assist employees in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Palm Springs, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Van Nuys, Beverly Hills, and other cities in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino Counties. Contact us at 323-895-7800 or via our online form to set up a free consultation if you need a wrongful termination attorney or assistance with another employment claim.

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