Individuals with Cancer in the Workforce and Their Federal Rights

  • Peter Blanck
  • William N. Myhill
  • Janikke Solstad Vedeler
  • Joanna Morales
  • Paula Pearlman

It is not uncommon for employers and co-workers to have misperceptions about an individual’s ability to work during and after undergoing treatment for cancer [1]. One in four individuals with cancer faces some form of discrimination in the workplace [2, 3]. In the United States, federal laws provide job protection from discrimination to individuals with cancer, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This chapter investigates the effectiveness of these laws in protecting the jobs, quality of life, and livelihoods of individuals in the workforce who are diagnosed with cancer.


District Court Reasonable Accommodation Work Return Workplace Accommodation Medical Leave 
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Peter Blanck, Ph.D, J.D., Chairman, Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), University Professor, Syracuse University (SU); William N. Myhill, M.Ed., J.D., Senior Research Associate, BBI, Adjunct Professor of Law (SU) (in loving memory of M.M., and with endearing love for E.A.M.); Janikke Solstad Vedeler, M.S., Visiting Pre-Doctoral Scholar, BBI, Research Associate, Norwegian Social Research (NOVA, Oslo); Joanna Morales, J.D., Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center, Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School (Los Angeles); Paula Pearlman, J.D., Executive Director, Disability Rights Legal Center, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Loyola Law School. This research was funded, in part, by grants to Dr. Blanck from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for (i) “Demand Side Employment Placement Models,” Grant No. H133A060033; and (ii) “Southeast Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center,” Grant No. H133A060094. The authors thank law students Lauren Chanatry, Janelle Frias and Ashleigh Hope, research assistant Aaron Gottlieb, and intern Erica Dolak for their research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Blanck
    • 1
  • William N. Myhill
  • Janikke Solstad Vedeler
  • Joanna Morales
  • Paula Pearlman
  1. 1.University Professor, ChairmanBurton Blatt Institute, Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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