The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act has not improved workplace discrimination towards patients with chronic illnesses including cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.1

The ADA was passed in 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act was passed in 2008 to inclusively define impairment caused by chronic diseases. The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate how the amendments have affected workplace discrimination towards patients with cancer.

The study compared claimant data from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission collected during 2001 to 2008, prior to the Amendments Act, and after the Act was implemented, during 2009 to 2011.

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Allegations of workplace discrimination significantly increased after the Amendments Act was implemented for terms of employment (odds ratio [OR], 1.34; 95% CI, 1.11-1.61; P < .01) and relations at work (OR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.23-1.78; P < .001).

Other allegations — hiring, reasonable accommodation, and termination — were similar before and after the Amendments passed.

The findings of this study indicate that “workplace discrimination continues to challenge those with a history of cancer,” wrote the authors.

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The authors suggest that oncologists and oncology providers can help design effective, personalized workplace accommodations for patients with cancer.

Type or severity of cancer, long-term effects, and treatment exposures were not determined in this study.


  1. Feuerstein M, Gehrke AK, McMahon BT, McMahon MC. Challenges persist under Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act: how can oncology providers help? J Oncol Pract. 2017 Apr 18. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2016/016758 [Epub ahead of print]