Cancer Treatment and Workplace Disclosure

Last Modified: May 8, 2012


Do I have to notify my employer about my cancer diagnosis? I am worried about losing my job.

Christina Bach, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine responds:

You are not legally obligated to inform your employer of your cancer diagnosis.

If you are applying for FMLA coverage (which protects your job for up to 12 weeks), you will need to supply medical verification of your diagnosis and treatment to human resources; however, your direct boss or co-workers are not informed about your medical diagnosis. It is YOUR decision to disclose your cancer diagnosis.

For more great information about working with or after cancer diagnosis and treatment I recommend two great resources

You should also talk with human resources about your options for applying for disability through your employer as well as how to maintain your health insurance coverage through COBRA.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.