Why Do Cancer Survivors Experience Workplace Discrimination? By Dan Atkerson on November 25, 2015

Group of Multiethnic Diverse Business PeopleResearchers at Penn State University recently conducted a study that found cancer survivors were less likely to get call-backs than other job applicants.

The study compared two groups, one of which listed that they were a cancer survivor on their resume and another that did not. The data showed that the control group was 16 percent more likely to get a call-back than the cancer survivors, which is strong statistical evidence of workplace discrimination.

“This is especially problematic as people with chronic and past illnesses are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and our findings indicate that cancer survivors do tend to disclose their cancer histories with interviewers at relatively high rates,” said Larry Martinez, a Penn State researcher and associate professor of hospitality management.

Why Do Employers Discriminate Against Cancer Survivors?

The biggest reason employers may discriminate against cancer survivors is because they assume that they will be less productive or may not stay with the company as long.

This discrimination can take many forms such as:

Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA protects cancer survivors from workplace discrimination. This includes current or past medical conditions and disabilities. Employers that are made aware of any past or present disability or medical condition are required by law to make reasonable accommodations.

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Dan Atkerson

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Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

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