What do I need to do if an employee discloses that a coworker has Hepatitis C?

Are we obligated to follow up in any way? The employee with Hepatitis C has not asked for any sort of accommodation, and does not work around food. He is a Maintenance & Operations worker.


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  • Your first post! Welcome to the forum!

    As far as your question goes, the answer is most likely nothing.

    First off, this is secondhand information, and unless the employee themselves discloses their illness, you really can't take that information as fact.

    Second, even if the employee were to disclose, unless their job performance is being affected or they work in an environment where their illness poses a safety concern (healthcare comes to mind), you are legally prohibited from disclosing their positive status to a 3rd party without the employee's consent.

    From what I understand, those with Hep C are often asymptomatic and require no accommodations. If the employee does begin to show symptoms that affect their ability to do their job, then you may want to look at regulations concerning FMLA and the ADA to see what accommodations are appropriate.

    I found this link which is actually pertinent to Canadian workplaces, but the information in it is solid and has some bearing on US law. Hope this helps! [url]http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/3246DF1F-AC21-4B72-AFE1-4C93F8AC0AE4/0/HepC_Intheworkplace.pdf[/url]
  • aclark,
    Welcome! If you have access to the (vast!) newsletter archives on this site, the April 2011 issue of [I]Utah Employment Law Letter[/I] has a detailed article about how a Montana HR pro wrestled with the difficult issues surrounding an employee with hepatitis C. In fact, the article compliments the HR person for becoming educated about hepatitis C and managing the situation. In the archives, click on "2011" for "All States" and search for "Hepatitis C." Up will come a link to the article you're look for -- [B]"Hepatitis what? the ADA and what it means to be 'regarded as' disabled."[/B] Hope this helps. Call me if you can't find it. tk

    (615) 661-0249 x 8068
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