Federal and state laws govern how employers must treat employees with serious diseases such as cancer. The key applicable federal laws are as follows:
: The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits many types of job discrimination against workers with cancer, which is considered a disability. In addition, the law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help cancer patients perform their jobs.
The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for an employee coping with a serious illness or caring for a family member who has one.
: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act mandates the protection and confidential handling of medical information, including a cancer diagnosis.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits an employer from using genetic information, such as a genetic test result or a family medical history, to discriminate in employment decisions.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bars health insurers from denying coverage for any reason, including health status.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows some workers who lose their health benefits to retain them temporarily, though sometimes at a high cost.