Is it legal to not allow an employee and their boyfriend to continue working after girlfriend discloses that she has Hep C to human resources?

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Is it legal to not allow an employee and their boyfriend to continue working after girlfriend discloses that she has Hep C to human resources?

I told my HR that I had Hep C on 7-
16-18. We were both told we
weren’t fired, but we haven’t been
allowed to work since 7-18-18.
They also told my boyfriend about
my condition when they told him
he couldn’t go back to work,
without making sure I had
disclosed that info to him yet.

Asked on July 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It appears to be illegal disability- (that is, medical condition-) based harassment or discrimination. The law is clear that an employee's health is only the employer's concern if 1) it affects job performance, or 2) it endangers co-workers or customers/clients. But hep C does not prevent people from working (or at least you have not described any way in which it does affect your job performance) and because it is communicated by blood-to-blood contact, unless you work in a place where blood is regularly drawn (e.g. a blood bank, a medical lab, a hospital, etc.), there is no risk to coworkers or customers; therefore, the employer does not appear to have the right to take any action against you due to your hep C. Based on what you write, you should contact the federal EEOC about filing a complaint.


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