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?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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