Returning to Work

Last Modified: July 1, 2010


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Now that I am done with cancer treatment, I have a lot of financial concerns and am concerned about returning to work. Can you help me?


Rodney N. Warner, Staff Attorney at The Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Staff Attorney at The Legal Clinic for the Disabled, responds:

This is a double-barreled can of worms you're opening. All states (except Alabama and Mississippi) have state anti-discrimination laws. There's also the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against disabled employees by employers with 15 or more employees (state laws often cover smaller employers). This would cover those being actively treated for cancer, and also those “regarded” as having cancer and those with a “record” of a disability. Check out this info from the EEOC. You may want to get a replay of the prior OncoLink webchat on financial and legal issues. Check out the employment and financial topics from this LAF webpage

Gloria DiLullo, MSN, CRNP, OncoLink Medical Oncology Educational Content Specialist, responds:

Financial issues may be acute or long-term. There are many resources out there to help survivors, but it can take some homework to find what you need. In dealing with employment issues, you should learn about your rights and your employer's responsibilities under the law. OncoLink's section on financial and insurance issues may be helpful; the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and the American Cancer Society also offer financial and insurance information. LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare (online or 1-866-673-7205) is a free resource that can help you find local resources and address financial, employment and insurance concerns. Cancer and Careers is a wonderful organization that can help with many of the employment related issues facing cancer survivors.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Cancer Survivorship Webchat. View the entire transcript on Survivorship.