The researchers found that cancer survivors are less likely to receive callbacks from potential employers than those who did not disclose their health history.
‘Cancer survivors have less chances of getting a call back from the places where they applied for a job. People are more likely to discriminate them in a very subtle interpersonal way.’
"Basically, people are more likely to discriminate in very subtle interpersonal ways," said lead researcher Larry Martinez, assistant professor of hospitality management at Pennsylvania State University in the US.
"There is less eye contact. There are shorter interaction times when speaking with managers. There are more negative interpersonal behaviors from managers, like frowning, brow furrowing and less smiling - fewer cues that communicate to applicants that they are interested in hiring them for the job," Martinez explained.
The study focused on retail employers and compared two groups of job applicants: applicants who ostensibly never had cancer and applicants who indicated on their resumes they were cancer survivors and wore a hat that read "cancer survivor" when applying for a job.
Applicants disclosing a cancer history received fewer callbacks from managers than the applicants who did not disclose a history of cancer.
For the cancer survivor group, 21 percent received callbacks. For the control group, nearly 37 percent received callbacks, a statistically significant difference, according to the researchers.
The study was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology