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The Reasonable Accommodation of Employees with Cancer and their Right to Privacy in the Workplace

Charles Maimela


The duty of employers to reasonably accommodate employees living with disabilities is fundamental and is invoked on a daily basis in response to various health conditions which employees experience, such as cancer. While executing this fundamental duty, employers must be mindful of other rights which employees have, such as the right to privacy. Employers run the risk of violating the employees' right to privacy in the process of accommodating them if the employer discloses confidential medical information which must be used only for the purpose of making accommodations for the employee concerned, in this context an employee with cancer. This paper focuses on the duty of employers to reasonably accommodate such employees, and the right to privacy of the employees. Further, this paper aims to investigate if a balance can be maintained between the duty of the employer to make such accommodations and the right to privacy of the employees.

Keywords: Reasonable accommodation; cancer; employee; right to privacy; disability; employer; discrimination; substantive equality
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