Employee Rights No Fees Unless We Win
Fired Due to Colon Cancer
The colon and rectum are part of the digestive system. The colon is the longest part of the large intestine. The rectum, which is the lowest part of the large intestine, is a shorter tube connected to the colon. The colon receives mostly digested food from the cecum (the highest part of the large intestine), which in turn connects to the small intestine. Food leaves from the stomach and enters the small intestine and, eventually, the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients (water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals) from the mostly digested food and passes waste to the rectum.Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer (Colon Cancer, for short, also sometimes called cancer of the large intestine) is a disease that develops when cells on the colon or rectum grow out of control (malignant). Colon Cancer usually arises when abnormal growths called polyps form in the colon or rectum and over time turn into cancer. Colon Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The good news is that treatments for Colon Cancer have become more effective and survival rates are increasing. More colon cancer survivors are in the workplace than ever before. Unfortunately, sometimes a diagnosis of colon cancer leads to you being fired from your job.Colon Cancer Risk Factors
- Family history of colon cancer
- Lack of regular physical activity
- A diet low in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and high in fat.
- Regular tobacco use or heavy alcohol consumption.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Consistent abdominal pain or cramps
- Changes in bowel habits
- Blood in the stool
Screening tests are used to detect disease in a person who is not experiencing symptoms of the disease.
- Stool Tests The presence of blood (Hematochezia) in a person’s stool can indicate a tumor in the colon or rectum. Stool tests are used to detect blood in a person’s stool.
- Colonoscopy A colonoscopy (and a similar procedure called a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy) is a procedure whereby a doctor insets a lighted tube into a person’s rectum to detect polyps or tumors in the colon and rectum.
- Computed Tomography Colonography Also called a virtual colonoscopy, is a procedure by which x-rays, and computers are used to produce images of the entire colon.
Stages of colon cancer are identified by using Roman numerals that range from 0 to IV.
- Stage 0 colon cancer is early stage cancer restricted to the innermost layer of the colon.
- Stage I colon cancer is cancer restricted to the inner layers of the colon.
- Stage II colon cancer is cancer that has penetrated the muscle wall of the colon.
- Stage III colon cancer is cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.
- Stage IV cancer is the most advanced from of cancer, and it involves the cancer having spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.
- Chemotherapy or Radiation
A colon cancer diagnosis will affect many areas of your life, including working. To some extent almost everyone diagnosed with colon cancer will experience physical and mental health problems. You may suffer psychological distress such as anxiety or depression. Fatigue, pain, or difficulty with memory, thinking or concentrating may make it difficult or impossible to carry on with your usual activities. Treatments for Colon Cancer often have side effects, including tiring easily, hair loss, poor appetite, skin damage, digestive problems, and general malaise.Taking a Leave of Absence From Work Due to Colon Cancer
Colon Cancer may prevent you from being able to work and earn a living. Depending on the severity of the disease, all you may need to keep your job and resume working soon is an unpaid leave of absence for a finite period of a few weeks (during which hopefully you can collect state disability benefits).
The California Family Rights Act (California Government Code sections 12945.1, 12945.2, and 19702.3) (CFRA) enables eligible California workers to take an unpaid, job-protected leave of absence of up to 12-weeks from their job to care for their own serious health conditions—this includes Colon Cancer.
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (California Government Code section 12900, et seq). provides workers with a separate right to take an unpaid, job-protected leave of absence from your job as a reasonable accommodation if you are unable to work because of the disabling effects of colon cancer or its treatment.Returning to Work After a Leave of Absence From Work Due to Colon Cancer
After surgery or treatment, you may feel that you are ready to return to work. However, you may not be able to do everything that you could do prior to your diagnosis. You may require a reasonable accommodation under FEHA so that you do not have to perform all your usual job tasks. For example, your doctor may restrict you from lifting and carrying heavy objects, or limit far you can walk or how long you can stand or sit. Under FEHA, once your employer is aware of your need for an accommodation due to cancer, the employer must either provide the accommodation or engage with you in a timely, good faith interactive process to determine whether the requested accommodation would create an undue hardship to its operations and, if so, to identify any alternative accommodation that would enable you to remain employed.Being Fired Due to Colon Cancer
A common situation where an employee is fired due to Colon Cancer is as follows. Under California law you are eligible for CFRA leave only if you have worked for the employer for more than 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the leave of absence. You have been an employee for less than 12 months when you are diagnosed with colon cancer. You inform your employer of the Colon Cancer diagnosis. You ask for several weeks off from work to undergo treatment and to recuperate. Your employer explains that you are not eligible for CFRA leave. You are told that if you need significant time off from work to undergo treatment and to recuperate, then your employer will have to let you go. Your employer may or may not be aware of its obligation to provide reasonable accommodations under FEHA. Either way, your employer fires you due to colon cancer instead of providing you with an unpaid leave of absence as an accommodation under FEHA. This is the time to contact an experienced employment attorney to determine whether your rights have been violated.Contact Us
If your employer has fired you from your job due to Colon Cancer, or if your employer or former employer has otherwise violated your rights, call the experienced employment attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC or Contact Us via our online form.