Employer May Not Rescind Job Offer Because Of Cancer Surgery

Let’s say you offer an applicant a full-time position and they accept. Before starting work, however, the employee discovers that they have cancer and must undergo surgery. Can you rescind the offer? What about if the employee asks to delay their start date and, after the employer agrees, the employee seeks to start the full-time position part-time for two weeks to complete their recovery from surgery. Can you rescind the job offer? A recent settlement reported by the EEOC indicates that the answer to these questions is “No.” The EEOC alleged that the employer’s refusal to accommodate the employee with part-time work was a violation of ADA. The employer reached a private settlement with the employee and a settlement with the EEOC.

One interesting fact here is that the employer originally accommodated the employee’s disability by postponing her start date. It was only when the employee sought to return part-time that the employer refused to further accommodation. The EEOC press release does not indicate whether, or if, the employer tried to establish that permitting the employee to work part-time created an undue hardship.


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