Why Do Cancer Survivors Experience Workplace Discrimination?
Researchers 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:
- Refusing to hire
- Demotion during or after treatment
- Being overlooked for promotion
- Lack of flexibility when asking for time off for medical appointments