Do I Have To Tell My Employer I Have Cancer?
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Do I have to tell my employer I have cancer?
Rodney N. Warner, Staff Attorney at The Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Staff Attorney at The Legal Clinic for the Disabled, responds:
This shouldnï¿½t be a topic of discussion during an interview. The employer can ask if you can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation. If you ask for a leave under ADA or FMLA, youï¿½d have to disclose why. That medical information should be kept separate from your personnel file. An employer can also ask that you take an independent medical exam prior to starting a job (if all job candidates have to do the same) and youï¿½d have to answer questions honestly. If your job performance takes a drastic turn for the worse, and employer can inquire to see if itï¿½s health related. See: Donï¿½t Ask, Donï¿½t Tell for more information.
A great resource for work related issues is Cancer and Careers.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Legal & Financial Challenges Facing People with Cancer. View the entire transcript here.