A cancer diagnosis is often one of the most pivotal points in a person’s life, not only because it causes one to face possible mortality, but because it is expensive and often impedes a person’s ability to work and/or care for their family. However, it should not be the basis on which you’re fired. If you believe it is, an Orange County cancer discrimination attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable case and lay out your legal options.
Rarely will an employer say, “We’re cutting your hours because you have cancer.” Instead, they will look for other excuses. They will say accommodations aren’t possible without hardship (when that’s not really true). They will say you weren’t performing according to company standards – even if you’ve had great annual reviews until that point. Sometimes they’ll start giving you poor reviews to leave a paper trail so they have a leg to stand on. This is why from the moment you suspect an issue, you should start documenting everything too.
Late last year, a Catholic school tried to argue that it had terminated a 5th grade teacher following her cancer diagnosis/revelation she’d be absent much of the school year because of something called the ministerial exception. This is not to be confused with ministerial v. discretionary duties, for which dispute can arise when civil tort plaintiffs suing government agencies for negligent acts/omissions by employees want the court to find the employees’ duties were “ministerial,” as in directed by the government absent their own discretion, making the government liable. In this case, Biel v. St. James School, the question was whether the teacher was a religious ministerial employee.
Why would this matter for someone with breast cancer? Continue reading