Editor’s Note: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so this post is very timely regarding women who may be facing discrimination at their place of employment and may not even be aware of it. Guest contributors R. Scott Oswald and Adam A. Carter of The Employment Law Group, PC provide the Top Five steps employees should take to protect their rights when returning to work following a breast cancer diagnosis.
The story is all too common. After months of fighting, it looks like you have finally overcome your breast cancer diagnosis. All that is left is for some follow-up treatments and to return to work. To your surprise, after having fought off breast cancer, you now find yourself in a fight with your employer over the nature of your return.
We like to think that most employers will warmly embrace the return of an employee who has survived a breast cancer diagnosis. But that is not always the case. Below, we outline the Top Five steps that an employee must take when returning to work following a breast cancer diagnosis.
1. Notice With Detail. You’ve overcome the initial diagnosis but will still need to follow up with your doctor for monitoring and additional treatment. The first step to returning to work is communicating with your employer about your condition. Many people are embarrassed about sharing medical information with their employer, but you have an absolute obligation to do so if you want to trigger your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (“
ADA”). You do not need to provide all of the
particulars, but you will need to discuss the diagnosis and the details of your
treatment and monitoring regimen.