Colorectal Cancer: Post Treatment 6 Months Plus: At Work: Stages 0,I
IF YOU READ ABOUT THIS SUBJECT PREVIOUSLY, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS WORTH REVIEWING. IT HELPS MINIMIZE THE IMPACT OF YOUR HEALTH HISTORY AT WORK.
As you know, the fact that you had colorectal cancer increases the risk that colorectal cancer will reappear or another cancer will appear. While risk does not mean a certainty that this will happen, it is wise to be prepared. Especially when the steps do not require a lot of effort.
- Start keeping a Work Journal which includes conversations or actions that you think could indicate that you are being discriminated against. Also include in your journal the good things that happen, such as a good work report, or when someone compliments you for a job well done. For information about this subject, click here.
- Get as many health related benefits from work as you can. For instance:
- Get health insurance, disability income insurance, and long term care insurance. (We provide a Health Plan Evaluator to help choose among different health plans from the point of view of a person with a cancer history. Click here).
- Increase the amount of your life insurance. In addition to benefiting your estate, if you become ill you may be able to access money while you are alive. (See: New Uses Of Assets: A Living Benefit From Your Life Insurance)
- Take those credit card offers sent to you because you are employed. Credit can come in handy to pay medical bills or related expenses if necessary.
It is not unusual for people who have gone through a diagnosis for colorectal cancer to reevaluate what is important, including wanting a different kind of satisfaction at work or a different balance between work and play. You may even want to become self employed or start your own business. (For tips, click here about starting a new business, click here.)
- What could happen in the future is not a reason to prevent you from pursuing your dream. Still, it is advisable to take some time before making a big change so your emotions have time to settle.
- If you are not satisfied with your job, or want to earn more money or get better benefits, job lock because of a health history is a thing of the past.
- You do not have to tell a new employer about your colorectal cancer history thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
- A new employer cannot ask about your health history or current health condition.
- Your current health insurance counts as a credit against any waiting period a new employer's health insurance imposes on new hires for preexisting conditions thanks to a law known as HIPAA.
- Unless the idea of changing jobs or going off on your own has been on the burner since before your diagnosis, consider not acting on the idea for at least 3 months to give emotions time to settle.
If you haven't disclosed your health condition at work, we’re not suggesting you do so now. We’re just raising the issue so you are aware of your rights.
- There is no legal obligation to disclose and no right or wrong. However, keeping a secret is stressful. The greater the secret, the greater the stress. Stress impacts the immune system.
- If you want to learn more about disclosing a health condition in the work place, see our document about disclosure to employers and our document about disclosure to co-workers.
Keep in mind that if your cancer returns, there are a variety of legal rights that relate to work (in addition to any rights you may have if you are a member of a union). For instance, you may be protected against discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar laws, (Among other requirements for protection, you have to disclose your condition to our employer).
- If you are a small business owner with one or more employee, click here.
- If you are self employed, click here.