If my wife has breast cancer and feels like she is being pushed out the job that she has been doing for years, is there any protection provided for people like this?

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If my wife has breast cancer and feels like she is being pushed out the job that she has been doing for years, is there any protection provided for people like this?

She is a dental assistant.

Asked on January 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

What do you mean that "she is being pushed out of the job"? If she is being harassed, discriminated against, hours or pay cut, shift changed to a less desirable one simply because she has breast cancer, that is illegal disability-based (having cancer is a "disability" for this purpose) employment discrimination. If this is the case, she may be entitled to monetary compensation, and should either contact the federal EEOC or the state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint, or speak with an employment law attorney about possibly filing a lawsuit.
But even if she has breast cancer, she can terminated--or have her hours, pay, shifts, etc. cut, or be suspended or furloughed--for performance, safety, or rules-violation related reasons. So if, for example, she cannot safely administer X-rays and that's part of her job, or she can't work as many hours at a time as necessary, or has missed work due to her illness, those all would be valid reasons for the employer to take some job action, because they are reasons related not simply to her being ill, but how she is or can do her job.


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