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LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH CANCER - PRACTICAL /// CHAPTER 77
Work
FMLA
Talking to People at Work about your
Diagnosis
Telling your Boss:
Can I work during cancer
treatment?
Don't count yourself as unable to work automatically.
Your ability to work during your treatment depends on
several factors. You and your provider must consider:
» The type of treatment you are getting
» The stage of your cancer
» Your general health
» The kind of work that you do
Continuing to work or returning to work may look
different than it used to. Some people are still able to
work their normal full-time schedules and some go
part-time.
Some patients return to work with the same schedule,
but with special conditions or accommodations:
less responsibilities, lighter duty or less of a
workload. The desire and ability of your workplace
to accommodate you or any special needs that you
may have will have a huge impact on whether or not
you can successfully continue to do your job during
treatment. If you are working, talk with your provider
to help you predict how much time off you will need
and when in treatment you will need it.
Keep in mind that these are only estimates because
every person is different in their reaction and recovery
from treatments.
» Be honest about your needs
» Remember things may change - You can only guess how
much time you need off and when that will be.
» Remember what you share should be kept confidential
Telling your Co-workers:
» How much you disclose and to who is your decision
» Don't feel pressured to share or explain things
» Remember each person will react to the news differently
Legal Protections
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis should not change your right to
equal opportunities in the workplace. As long as you can fulfill
your job duties, you can't be legally fired for being sick. Here are
some of the federal laws that help protect you.
» Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - as in ADA
accommodations
» Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - lets those with
serious illness take a reasonable amount of unpaid leave to
get medical care or manage symptoms
Employers are not required to lower standards in order to
accommodate an employee, nor must they provide personaluse
items like glasses or hearing aids. But an employer
must accommodate a qualified applicant or employee with a
disability unless the employer can show doing so would be
an undue hardship. Be sure to talk to your human resources
department to find out more about your options. They can also
be able to help you if you feel like you are being (or you might
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What Do I Do Now?

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