EEOC Issues ADA Guidance on Employees With Cancer

July 26, 2005 ( - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a document providing Americans With Disabilities (ADA) guidance concerning employees with cancer.

An EEOC news release reports that the document is in question-and-answer format and deals with topics such as:

  • when cancer is a disability under the ADA
  • when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about cancer
  • how employers should treat voluntary disclosures
  • what types of reasonable accommodations employees with cancer may need

In the document, Commission Chair Cari Dominguez noted that about 40% of the more than one million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year are working aged adults. She said, “Because of the significant advances in detection and treatment, cancer no longer is the ‘death sentence’ it was a century ago. Yet people recently diagnosed with cancer and those with a history of cancer still experience discrimination at work based on old stereotypes and unfounded fears. Simple accommodations, like leave or a flexible schedule to allow for treatment, make it possible for many people with cancer to continue to be valuable contributors in the workplace.”

The document, which is the fourth in a series on the application of the ADA to specific disabilities, can be found here .