The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects workers against discrimination in the process of hiring, firing, promotions, training opportunities and many other activities. The law also requires that employers make reasonable accommodations so that people with disabilities are able to function in the workplace. Reasonable accommodations are situation-specific and might include modifying a work schedule or making the physical workplace accessible. The ADA does not apply if you are no longer able to perform the essential functions of your job.
If you decide to talk with your employer, try to prepare for the conversation by talking with your treatment team about how much time you may need to be away from work during and after treatment. You can also ask if they have recommendations about your work schedule. Make a list of any accommodations you might need. If you aren’t sure what you’ll need, be sure to say that you’ll get back to your boss as soon as you know more. Do your part to keep the channel of communication open.
After you speak with your boss, it’s wise to make some notes. No matter what your relationship with your boss, it’s
good practice to keep records of your conversations regarding your cancer diagnosis. If you receive a reasonable
accommodation, ask for it to be documented. You may also want to make a copy of any recent performance reviews and any positive statements about your work. Also, make note of anything that could indicate you are being discriminated against. In the unlikely event that you have problems with your employer in the future, careful records can prove invaluable.