Employment discrimination

There are a number of federal and state laws designed to protect people against discrimination because of a diagnosis of cancer or a history of cancer. There also are a number of agencies you can call to seek help if you feel you have been discriminated against.

Federal law

The Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination due to physical disability. You can call the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (see addresses and phone numbers below) to inquire if your employer receives federal funds. If the agency receives federal funding, then they can be sued for discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

People with cancer are protected under the ADA, which provides comprehensive civil rights protection for people with disabilities. It guarantees them access to employment, transportation, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications. People with disabilities cannot be excluded from jobs (if qualified), educational opportunities or employment and social benefits, among others. Receiving federal funding makes the employer accountable under this act for discrimination.

State law

The Virginians with Disabilities Act prohibits all public and private employers from discriminating against individuals with physical or mental disabilities. People with cancer are protected under this physical

What to do

If you think you may have been discriminated against, there are a number of options to pursue. You may want to contact the following agencies if you feel you have a discrimination complaint:

Department for Rights of Virginians with Disabilities
James Monroe Building
101 North 14th Street, 17th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 225-2042

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
3600 West Broad Street, Room 229
Richmond, Virginia 23230
(804) 771-2692

Office of Equal Employment Services
Virginia Department of Personnel and Training
101 North 14th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 225-3303

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
400 North Eighth Street, Room 7004
Richmond, Virginia 23240
(804) 771-2136

Virginia Council on Human Rights
P.O. Box 717
Richmond, Virginia 23206
(804) 225-2438

Virginia Department of Rehabilitation Services
2930 West Broad Street, Suite 15
Richmond, Virginia 23230
(804) 367-1641
Toll free: (800) 552-5019