When we were talking to survivors for this issue, we
met one who didn't want people to know she had had
cancer. She wasn't ashamed -- and in fact she was eager
to talk with us about concerns she had faced in the
hope that it would help someone else.
But she declined to be identified because she was
worried she had been the victim of employment discrimination.
"There was one job where I really thought I nailed
the interview" she said. "I got a 98 percent on the
test, but when I called to ask why I wasn't hired, the
interviewer told me, 'We didn't design the test for you
to fail.' I think I told her too much. I'm not old enough
to retire, but I feel like there was some kind of prejudice
because I'd been ill."
People who have a history of cancer are under no
obligation to tell potential employers about their diagnosis.
And, it is illegal for potential employers to ask.
So where do you go if you have concerns about the
legal ramifications of cancer?
Consider calling the Cancer Legal Resource Center,
a free service based in California. The center provides
confidential information and resources on a number of
legal issues, including insurance coverage, employment
discrimination, access to health care
and estate planning.