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TC and new job

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  • TC and new job

    I was just wondering if anyone could share their experience/knowledge w.r.t TC and change of jobs.

    Given my tumor composition, I do understand that there is a fair chance that I do undergo chemo. It's been like 4 months since orchiectomy now.However, chemo may or may not happen and I intend to move jobs sometime soon.

    I am kinda confused about a few things:
    1. Do I "have-to" mention my existing condition to a prospective employer prior to joining?
    2. If not, AND I do end up with chemo tomorrow, can I disclose the news just before I head for chemo? This way, if chemo happens, the employer gets to know just in time, if not, then the employer does not know what he probably does not need to know.
    3. If I do tell my employer "just-in-time", AND I decide to be off of work for 9-12 weeks, is the employer obliged by law to hold on to my job?

    I've read a nice article on the LIVESTRONG website about this topic, but any do's and dont's from someone that has gone through it or has sufficient knowledge about it would really really help.

    Any other do's and dont's while moving jobs also appreciated:-)
    R I/O on 08/24/2006
    AFP:240, BHCG:641
    Stage 1 non-seminoma (70% EC, 20% Teratoma, 5% chorio, 5% yolk sac)
    VI,LI absent, clinical stage 1.
    CT scan, chest X-Ray clear 09/18/2006.
    AFP: 10 bHCG: <2
    L-RPLND 09/29/2006.

  • #2
    Cancer and changing jobs

    You are not required to disclose your health status to a prospective employer, but depending on when you take the job and how soon you know when or if you might have to have chemo, it would probably be best to discuss with at least your direct supervisor as soon as you know it is a possibility. They obviously cannot legally discriminate against you because you have an illness, but you might lose some goodwill if you "spring" the news on them without much warning, especially if you have a high impact job, i.e., your absence would create a burden on the supervisor and/or other employees. You could also discuss the potential of working part-time or from home during chemo if you have the kind of job that would allow working from home.

    Regarding whether or not the company would be required to hold your job at the new company, the answer to that question would be no. I am assuming that the company has more than 50 employees, in which case they would be required to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act. In order to qualify for job protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you must be employed for at least 1,250 hours within one consecutive year to qualify for job protected leave. They would still probably allow you to take the time off, but you would not be guaranteed a job or your same job when you returned from leave.

    This is just my advice (I am a benefits specialist who works with corporate employer plans and employees every day) - I would not mention the illness and potential chemo until you have been offered the job and have a comfort level that the news will be well received. Obviously, don't quite your current job until you have a new one secured. If possible during the interview process, obtain all of the documentation you possibly can about benefits, time off, etc. You need to see what kind of sick time they offer, in order to get paid while on leave, what type of benefits, the lifetime max of their benefit plans, waiting period for benefits, etc. I would also make sure that they offer short and long term disability coverage in the event that you do need to be out and qualify for it.

    I hope some of my rambling helps. Feel free to post again with more questions and I will be happy to respond. I have some knowledge of HR rules and regulations in addition to the benefits background.

    sigpic Husband diagnosed 10/19/2006. EGCT, with mets to lung, brain, lymph nodes and liver, 4XBEP finished 12/25/2006. Began HDC 2/12/2007 at IU. HDC failure 5/07. Husband passed away 7/14/2007.


    • #3
      Another Thought

      As an employer and TC survivor, I'd like to suggest that you not change jobs right now unless you absolutely have to.

      1) The last thing you need right now is more stress, a new job, new impressions, new policies, etc can be unsettling. Plus you have the chance of starting and then leaving things behind for your new co-workers.

      2) Yes, companies hire for the long term, but if it all goes down badly you risk starting off poorly.

      3) Unless your current workplace isn't good, it is more likely to be understanding and sympathetic to your situation.

      4) Finally, you are going through a hard emotional time right now and you are probably in a low mood state. People seldom make great decisions in this kind of situation. Give yourself a little time and space before making a plunge like a new job.

      Please consider not moving right now. If it is the right job it will come available to you again there or at another firm. In the meantime the job you have is the one you know, and the easiest to do.
      1st TC 4/23/1973, Left orchiectomy, Seminoma, Radiation, 33 years great checkups, 2nd TC, 9/12/2006, Right orchiectomy, Seminoma, surveillance