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Cancer strikes many of us: over 10 million Americans are living with a history of cancer, and more than 40 percent of those diagnosed each year are working-age adults.
Fortunately, people living with cancer have rights in the workplace. There are several federal and state laws that protect people with cancer or who have a history of cancer from workplace discrimination.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits many employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on disabilitywhich includes cancer. This means that the employer must reasonably accommodate an employee who has cancer .
Additionally, most states now have their own laws prohibiting disability discrimination, with some of these laws providing even more protection than federal law. For instance, in California, the law relating to disability discrimination, including discrimination based on cancer, applies to employers with five or more employees.
When is Cancer a Disability under the ADA?
Support The Disability Integration Act
Sue Mueller, BSN, CWOCN
Does an ostomy qualify as a disability? This is a question that UOAA receives on occasion. You are living with an ostomy, you feel pride that you are independent with your ostomy care, that you are able to problem solve the glitches that arise, you have resumed your former activities and tried a few new oneslife is good. So its confusing when you hear someone tell you that you qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act as having a disability. Perhaps you can walk and talk and see and hear and are independent with your care. You may envision a disabled person as someone who needs help with care, uses a wheelchair or a walker someone obviously disabled. Well, elimination of waste is a major body function and your elimination of waste has changed in fact you need to wear a prosthetic device to manage this change. You have a record of an impairment of a major body function, therefore you are protected by the provisions of the ADA. You do not have a visible disability, and not all disabilities are visible.
The act is bipartisan legislation that ensures people with disabilities have a federally protected right to live and receive services in their own homes or in the setting of their choosing. The DIA further secures our Constitutionally protected right to liberty by preventing disabled people from being forced into costly institutional settings by unnecessary government regulations.
Florida Disability Discrimination Attorneys
If you suffer from an illness and suspect that you are being subject to job discrimination, or have dealt with your employer being unwilling to make reasonable accommodations for your illness or disability in the workplace, we can help. Robert S. Norell has represented people in state and federal employment discrimination actions throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area for over 20 years. Contact us today and well help you get on the road to recovery.
History Of The Ada And Hiv
When the ADA was first enacted, HIV was considered an inherently life-threatening illness that would lead to the impairment or incapacitation of most, if not all, of those infected. Within that context, legal protections for those with HIV were seen to be clear and impeachable.
However, over time, as HIV began to be considered a more chronic manageable disease, there were a number of legal challenges as to whether HIV should, in and of itself, be considered a disability if the person remains symptom-free and otherwise unimpaired.
That question was put before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998 in Bragdon v. Abbott, a case in which a healthy, HIV-positive woman named Sidney Abbott was told by her dentist that he would only fill her cavity in a hospital, and only if she bore the extra hospital costs herself.
In a close 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of Ms. Abbott, declaring that refusal to treat in a dental office was intrinsically discriminatory and that, even as a symptom-less person with HIV, Ms. Abbott still entitled protection under the ADA.
Beyond the obvious implications for those living with HIV, the ruling also confirmed that associational discriminationnamely, discrimination against individuals based on their association with those covered under the ADAwas prohibited under the law.
How Can The Ada Help People With Cancer
People with cancer can have long-term disabilities that make it hard to work or get around. The ADA is intended to make it possible for people who can do the essential parts of their job to go back to work or keep working during and after cancer treatment. Even when a person with cancer doesnt have a disability, they may be thought of as being disabled. This alone can set the stage for discrimination at work, and the ADA addresses this as well.
The ADA can help people who might have trouble getting into buildings and using public accommodations due to a disability. The ADA can also help people with hearing and speech problems use phone and electronic communications.
To find out if the ADA might help you, youll want to know if it applies to your condition, your employer, and public accommodations, as discussed here.
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Do I Need The Help Of A Lawyer For Cancer Discrimination
If you believe your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of cancer, you should contact an discrimination lawyers. An experienced employment lawyer near you can review the facts of your case and advise you how to proceed. The attorney can also represent you in hearings and court proceedings.
- No fee to present your case
- Choose from lawyers in your area
- A 100% confidential service
How Can I Find Out More About Ssdi
- Visit www.ssa.gov online choose disability
- Visit ssabest.benefits.gov to learn about Social Security benefits you might be eligible for including SSDI
- Go to your nearest Social Security office
You can find out how much you would get from SSDI by looking at your Social Security statement. The statement shows your work history and an estimate of what your benefits would be at this time. To get a Social Security statement:
- Request a statement online through Social Securitys website at www.ssa.gov. Click on My Social Security on the left side of the page.
Note that SSDI is different from SSI . SSI is for people with disabilities or who are at least 65 years old and who have limited income and resources. See our information on Supplemental Security Income .
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How The Ada Affects Jobs
Does the ADA apply to my employer?
The law applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Job discrimination against people with disabilities by these employers is not legal if practiced by:
- Private employers
- Labor organizations
- Labor management committees
Employees of the US government are not covered under the ADA. But they have the same protections under a different law, which is enforced by the Office of Federal Operations of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission . To file a complaint, a federal employee must first contact an equal employment opportunity counselor at the agency in which they believe the discrimination took place. You can learn more from the EEOC website.
Here are a couple of key points about how the ADA applies to you at work.
- The ADA must apply to your employer as noted in the section above. You must also be qualified for and able to perform the essential functions of the job.
- Although the ADA defines the term disability, it does not include a list of conditions that are always considered disabilities. Instead, each case must be looked at on its own merits.
- An employer may not discriminate against you because you used to be sick.
- The ADA also prevents an employer from discriminating against you if he or she thinks you are sick, even if you arent.
Which employment practices does the ADA cover?
If you have a disability and are qualified for a job, the ADA does not allow the employers noted above to discriminate in employment practices, such as:
Activities Constituting Major Life Activities Under The Ada
Major life activities are basic activities that the average person can perform with little or no difficulty. They include:
- performing manual tasks, and
- taking care of oneself.
The ADAAA added “major bodily functions” to the list of major life activities. This change was intended to protect those who have serious medical conditions but may not always suffer evident, day-to-day effects. Major bodily functions include the proper working of bodily processes, functions, or systems, such as the immune system, normal cell growth, and the digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
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How Does The Americans With Disabilities Act Apply To Employees Who Have Infertility
From the desk of Linda Carter Batiste, J.D., Principal Consultant/Legislative Specialist
With a few exceptions, the ADA only applies to employees who meet the ADAs definition of disability, so the first question is whether an employee with infertility has a disability. The answer depends on what causes the infertility. To have a disability under the ADA, a person must have an impairment. Infertility refers to the inability of a person to reproduce, but may not always be caused by a diagnosed impairment.
For example, a middle-aged woman who is having problems conceiving may not have an impairment, but rather is simply confronting difficulties because of her age and normal changes to her reproductive system. Without an impairment, she would not have a disability under the ADA.
Even when an impairment is the cause of infertility, to have a disability under the ADA a person also must show that the impairment substantially limits a major life activity. For people with infertility, that major life activity can be reproduction, which is specifically designated as a major life activity in the ADA Amendments Act. For example, a person who had cancer may have great difficulty reproducing as a result of radiation or chemotherapy and therefore likely has disability under the ADA.
The most common type of accommodations needed for infertility are modified schedules or leave for treatment and stress reduction.
Lindsey A White Was Quoted In A February 21 2022 Daily Record Article
Lindsey A. White was quoted in a February 21, 2022 Daily Record article by Pete Pichaske, Confusion over vaccine mandates bedevils employers. Lindsey discussed the choices employers can
This month, Fiona W. Ong testified before both the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee of the Maryland General Assembly on the proposed Paid Family Leave Program bill.
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An Individual Regarded As Being Disabled
A person with COVID or who their employer believes has COVID 19 can be classified as disabled if that perception right or wrong causes them to lose their job and be unhirable due to an impairment.
How the ADA Addresses COVID 19 and Disability
The first thing to understand is that every case is unique and that similar cases may qualify as a disability while others do not.
Every case starts with an evaluation and gathering of data or documents.
The process is not straightforward and can be excessively complex. There are gray areas in almost every case.
If you believe you are disabled due to a COVID 19 infection and reside in California, call Davtyan Law Firm at at discuss the details of your condition. We are here to help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
Social Security Disability Insurance For People With Cancer
Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal disability insurance benefit earned by people who have worked and paid into Social Security. Its only available to people who have disabilities that keep them from working. If you have cancer, you may be able to have your SSDI application processed more quickly
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What Is The List Of Disabilities Covered Under Ada
The list of disabilities covered under American with Disabilities Act refers to all the disabilities for which an employee is protected from discrimination by employers. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a civil rights law, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities.
The American with Disabilities Act helps with employers or other people with disabilities from their job functions. In employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications, the ADA outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability.
Accommodations Under The Ada
The law requires reasonable accommodation as long as it is not an undue hardship for the employer. Reasonable accommodations generally include changes in work hours or duties because of treatment or doctors appointments. An example of an undue hardship may be a situation where an employee must miss a year of work and a temporary employee cannot fill that position.
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Cancers That Are Aggressive Inoperable Or Unresectable That Have Recurred After Treatment Or That Have Metastasized Are Eligible For Disability Benefits
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits for cancer can be straightforward for some aggressive cancers , but for others, you’ll need to provide the Social Security Administration with convincing evidence to show either that 1) your cancer fulfills the qualifications for the SSA’s disability listing for that particular cancer or 2) the symptoms or treatment for your cancer limit you so much that you can’t work.
Cancers that were inoperable or unresectable with surgery, that have recurred after treatment, or that metastasized to other places are eligible for disability benefits. Here are some explanations of the ins and outs of getting disability for various types and stages of cancer.
What Qualifies As An Ada Disability
According to the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, covered entities should interpret the ADA broadly to include as many disabilities as possible and protect as many people as possible.
Under the ADA, an impairment needs to be a physiological or mental disorder. Depression, stress, and similar conditions are only sometimes considered impairments under the ADA. Whether depression and stress are considered impairments depends on if they result from a documented mental or physiological disorder or if they result from personal life or job pressures. The impairment must substantially limit at least one major life activity.
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Did You Know That Cancer Is Classed As A Disability Under The Equality Act
Sadly in the UK, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and around 1 million people of working age, currently have cancer. Given the significant number of people affected , this is a hugely important issue for the Civil Service and one in which we quickly need to build capability and confidence.
Many people dont realise that cancer is recognised as a disability: this is from the point of diagnosis and for the rest of that persons life . In addition people diagnosed with cancer, often have life changing and lifelong conditions and disabilities caused by the cancer, treatment or medication they are then required to take as part of their ‘new normal’.
So, its vital we support managers and organisations to make best use of inclusion policies and the benefits of good communication plans with regular reviews.
Our award-winning Civil Service Working Through Cancer Network now has representatives from more than 30 departments and agencies, and is leading the way to ensure the Civil Service is Confident about Cancer. New departmental level networks are launching every few months, and most recent additions include Government Legal Department, Department for Education, and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
For more information about the Working Through Cancer Network, please contact chairperson Seonaid Webb at
Who Qualifies For Ssdi
- People who have worked for a number of years and had enough money taken out of their paychecks for Social Security
- Self-employed people who paid self-employment taxes
- You must meet Social Securitys very strict definition of disability to qualify for SSDI.
- Having a low income or financial needs do not affect whether you can get SSDI.
If you get turned down for SSDI, reapply, and appeal if necessary. Many cases end up being approved after an appeal. The amount you get from SSDI will be based on how long you worked, and how much Social Security tax was taken from your pay. Once you apply for SSDI, the disability clock starts running.
If your disability application is approved, you will usually receive your first benefit payment six months after the date the Social Security Administration finds that your disability began. You will also become eligible for Medicare after you’ve received SSDI benefits for 2 years.
If you qualify and start getting SSDI, your spouse and any eligible children can also apply for SSDI. If you find you dont qualify for SSDI, but you are disabled and have limited income and resources, look into Supplemental Security Income . This program also can pay benefits to the disabled, but is based on your income and need.
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Cancer And The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act .