WWYD..Job hunting with cancer...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
WWYD..Job hunting with cancer...
16
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 11:31am
As many of you know, my DH has brain cancer. It will never go into remission and the tumor is suppose to come back anytime now. When it does, his options are a type of chemo that will make him severely ill, radioisotope surgery (placing isotopes directly on the brain) or doing nothing and bring hospice in. Needless to say, we are hoping we never get to this point.

Here is the problem: He is getting laid-off from his job. He has had this position for six years and they have been great to him. He is going to be job hunting soon. Should he tell his potential employees about the cancer? I personally think he should tell them on the second or third interview so they know coming in. Legally, he doesn't have to but morally does he owe it to them?

I have gotten 3 jobs since he has been diagnosed. I have told every single one of them during the second interview and have never lost a job. I felt I owed it to the employers to know that I might have to take off days to take care of him and that this was a fact of my life. Plus, if days off were going to be a sticking point then I did not want to work there. It has never been a problem.

What does everyone else think? DH is scared to job hunt and I am too close to the situation. If you were an employer, would you want to know? Would you hire him?

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 11:49am
I would not tell.

But then, a lot depends on what your dh does for living and what the prospective job market is like where you live.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 12:09pm
Right now, he works in finance and is thinking about applying for some corporate positions nearby. He is also thinking about teaching. He has a major in English and a minor in French. The local college has a program where you can teach with a degree and they will help you get your teaching certification. He is leaning toward this option.

Our job market is poor. It is not as bad as California but there aren't plenty of jobs out there.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 12:12pm
I am a pragmatists. My view is this: he is not required to tell of the cancer, and there is a greater than zero chance that by disclosing this irrelevant-to-the-hiring-process fact, he may not get the job. With a below prime economy and a family to support, I would not risk it.

Now if you kow the employer personally, or if the cancer will definately require special accomodation, that is a different story. But if today, based on his health right now, the cancer will not prevent his doing the job in the manner it needs to be done, I wouldn't tell.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 12:45pm
I agree with karenester. Since it seems that your dh's history of cancer will not affect his work in terms of his ability to perform his duties and he would not be missing work because of on going treatments-- IMO, I would not tell at this time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 1:23pm
I wouldn't tell. I really believe that his chances of getting a job, if he disclosed the fact, would be quite slim. He should be proud of himself for doing a good job for the last six years, despite his illness, and let the references speak for themselves. I don't see this as a moral issue at all.
Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it. I just heard the good news and popped back over, just in case you were still checking in.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 10:28am
But won't he have to list this as a pre-existing condition on his forms?

I haven't read all the replies so maybe she addressed this. If they offer insurance, he will have to disclose this.

I suppose he can take a position but refuse the insurance if he chooses.

Avatar for karenester
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 10:34am
Insurance forms would only come after a job is offered and accepted. At that point, of course he would list it. (And anyway, those forms would just go to HR and the insurane company--the boss should never even see them. Plus, I have never had to list actual pre-existing conditions on an insurance form that went to my employer.) But I sure wouldn't tell an interviewer that I had brain cancer before I had the job secured. The stigma dn the prejudice would be too great a risk for me to take.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 10:48am
I would tell them on the second interview, if it were me, and I suppose it very well could be me some day if I go back to work. The difference is my cancer is in remission and potentially cured (they don't use that word for 9 more years cancer-free though...)

If they don't offer him the job, then it's not the right job, IMO. Clearly, his health has to come first and he needs an employer who is going to be supportive of that.

Good luck to you and your dh on all fronts.... from job to health.

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 10:52am
Most large corporations offer HMO plans which don't refuse for pre exisiting conditions. I have never had to fill out a medical form to get one and neither has he. We are slaves to the insurance right now. He can get on mine at work but it is a 80-20/90-10 plan and that will kill as financially. He gets MRI's every 3 months and a PET scan once a year. The MRI is $3,000 and the PET scan was around $6,000. Ick! I am praying we will find a company that offers BCBS. We have it right now and they have been great. We have never had to fight with them about medication or going to Duke. They are more expensive but it is worth it. I am trying not to think about it too much because it makes me so nervous.

I think everyone is right and he should not say a word. I was overthinking it-he really does not need special accodomations. He travels to Duke once a quarter for his check ups and currently takes Family Medical Leave to do it. He might be able to work something out once he becomes employed.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 10:58am
That was my thinking too. Then I read Karenester post and there is a stigma to brain cancer. I come across it every day. People are always suprised he can work and he can drive. I think there is an assumption that people with brain cancer are drooling idiots-to not be politically correct.

Before he became a person surviving brain cancer, I thought the same thing. I assumed a person with brain cancer would have seizures and problems with walking and with talking. I don't know. I want him at a place where they are supportive and where he does not feel like he is a drain on the company. I just hate that he is getting laid-off. His workplace now is wonderful. The HR dept has bent over backwards for him. Hopefully, he can find such a place again.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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