Many cancer survivors in California go on to enjoy healthy and productive lives. However, disclosing a history of cancer during a job interview may leave cancer survivors open to workplace discrimination, according to a new study. Researchers from Penn State University and Rice University determined that job applicants who disclosed a history of cancer were less likely to receive a call back after an interview.
The study was done using five undercover researchers between the ages of 21 and 29 who posed as job applicants. Researchers presented their resumes to managers at 121 retail stores at three large shopping centers. While speaking with retail managers, the researchers would either make no mention of cancer or somehow indicate that they had survived cancer. The study found that only 21 percent of the cancer survivor group received callbacks while 37 percent of the control group received callbacks.
The lead researcher on the study said that cancer survivors have a common tendency of letting interviewers know that they have survived cancer. He said that discrimination against cancer survivors is problematic because it is contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act. A professor of psychology and management who co-authored the study believes that cancer survivors are regularly discriminated against on the job in subtle interpersonal ways.
A person who has been a victim of workplace discrimination might want to speak to an employment law attorney about pursuing a claim for financial compensation. Whether an individual was fired, denied a job or is still working in a hostile environment, an attorney can often provide advice about the best way to proceed with the complaint.