Can I File a Pay Reduction or Discrimination Lawsuit for Cancer Diagnosis?
When cancer is diagnosed, immediate treatment can mean all the difference. But if you took sick pay leave in order to acquire the diagnosis and your employer deducted your pay because you missed work, you may have the option to file a lawsuit against your employer for unlawful pay reduction. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to provide the necessary representation in order to get you the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. We help people in your situation every day and help answer questions regarding any future steps which they may take. Examples of such questions include:
- Can I sue my employer if my pay was reduced because of a cancer diagnosis?
- Can I file a discrimination claim if my pay was cut due to cancer?
- My employer did not give me my bonuses because he found out that I have cancer. Can he legally do that?
- Can I sue my boss if he reduced my hours or salary because I have cancer?
- Can I file a lawsuit against my employer if he forced me to go on furlough due to having cancer?
- Can my boss legally lower my salary because I have cancer?
When cells multiply uncontrollably, they form a mass called a tumor which destroys normal healthy tissue. It’s a disease known as cancer which affects millions of people every single year. In the state of California, you have the right to take time off work in order to deal with a serious illness, or to take care of immediate family members with a serious illness. When you take this time off work, your employer cannot retaliate against you in any way. Retaliation includes such actions like termination, demotion, and even reduction of pay.
Additionally, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees with a disability. The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) does not allow employers to discriminate against employees whose disability is protected under the ADA. The definition of “disability” is broad in order to encapsulate and protect as many people as possible.
If your employer has reduced your pay or has discriminated against you because of your cancer/cancer treatment, you may have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. The California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group is here to represent you and make sure that justice gets served.
Can My Employer Reduce My Pay Because of a Cancer Diagnosis?
Under California Sick Paid Leave law, your employer must allow you to take paid sick leave in order to “treat preventative care or diagnosis, care of treatment of an existing health condition, or receive attention if you are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking – this leave can be for you, or an immediate family member. Immediate family members, according to California law, include children, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling. It is up to you, the employee, to decide how you will use your sick paid leave. Employers may require that you take a minimum of two hours at a time. Otherwise, the amount of time is determined by the employer.
If you are a non-exempt employee, and you take sick leave, your employer must pay you at the exact same rate for the time you took from work if you had not gone to the doctor’s. For example, if you take three hours off to go to get a cancer screening, your employer is required to pay you for those three hours at the rate you normally make. If you make $20/hour, that will mean $60 for those three hours you missed because of sick paid leave.
If you notice that your employer has deducted your pay because you used sick paid leave to treat your cancer, you may have the legal grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer.
Can My Employer Discriminate Against Me Because I Have Cancer?
Under the ADA, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees whose disability is protected under the federal law. The definition of “disability,” according to the ADA, is defined as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.” Cancer is not specifically listed as a disease which is covered by the ADA, but the effects that cancer has on your body may qualify you for protection under the ADA.
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If you have cancer, your employer may not discriminate against you in any way across every level of employment from the interview process to termination and benefits. This includes salary, responsibilities, and other such job-related qualities. Your employer may not demote you to a position they think is better suited for someone with cancer, reduce your pay, or withhold bonuses from you just because you have cancer, especially if your job performance is within the standard. If you can perform the essential job functions – that is, the tasks which are specific to that job which make that job necessary in the first place – with or without reasonable accommodation, your employer must treat you equally.
Your employer must provide you with reasonable accommodation if you request it and your illness is covered under the ADA. For example, if you have cancer and it takes you longer than usual to get ready in the morning and make it to work, a reasonable accommodation may be a modified schedule that works for you to help eliminate tardiness.
If your employer has discriminated against you and has reduced your pay simply because you have cancer, you may have the right to file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer.
If your employer has violated the law, you have the right to file a lawsuit and collect the damages you deserve. We at the California Labor Law Employment Attorneys Group will always push for the maximum compensation possible because we are here for you, the client. We offer free consultation and the zero-fee guarantee! Contact us today to see what we can offer you.