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Illegal or Not?
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Illegal or Not?

About three weeks ago I notified my employer that I had hep C, and that had been the reason I had been pretty sick and missed some work. Well two weeks pass and I noticed my name was not on the schedule for the upcoming week. My manager pulls me to the side and tells me im not aloud to come back into work until I have a clearance letter from my doctor saying I can work in a restraunt as a hostess with hep C. I brought a clearance letter to work, and now my manager told me that my boss is still wanting to talk to someone about the whole ordeal, and that I still can't work until he does and to call her yesterday evening. I called her ystday evening and she said that he wasn't able to get ahold of anyone and left a msg and they are suppose to call him back. SO I asked if I was fired and she said she didn't really know?

Is it illegal for them to fire me because I hcv?

& also I spoke to the health dept where I live at and they said hep a is the only hep that can prevent you from working in a restraunt.
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179856_tn?1333550962
Lesson hard learned as others here have learned as well.  There is no way you can infect anyone and they could have found that out in ten minutes (as my job did when I stupidly told my boss who said he wouldn't tell anyone and then told HR and the whole entire senior staff).  he knew it was illegal to fire me outright so he kept making up stupid things saying i did or didn't do them then demoted me to sitting in a chair at a desk doing nothing, literally.  The next step would have been to say sorry but this position is no longer needed adios.  That is the kind of trick they can do - but they cannot fire you or take your shifts away because of disease.

You need somehow to get documentation that this is what has happened so you can prove it.  Tell them your doctor would like a letter stating exactly why you are not allowed to work so he can refute it perhaps. It's doubtful they will give it to you because they will know that it's illegal what they are doing but perhaps it will shake them up and get you back on the schedule. That would give you time to get an attorney to figure out what to do.

Anyway thats just an idea but don't give up.  It IS illegal what they are doing and you should be paid back wages plus damages if you ask me. I'm not lawyer though just another hepc patient who learned the hard way. Had my bosses boss not figured out what was happening to me I would have definitely been let go with no recourse. Instead, I got promoted and have been working for the bosses boss for five years now. Must have really burnt that pigs azz! :)

It pays to hang in there.

Good luck.
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27 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Doesn't sound legal to me. Check with an attorney.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes it is illegal.  . Because of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) no one can prevent you from practicing your profession if you have an infection unless you are giving to other people.   Many healthcare professionals with hepc continue in their field and they are in a profession where transmission of the virus is much more likely.  In your case, there is no danger of transmitting the virus.  The problem is your employer is very uneducated about the disease.

Trinity
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901131_tn?1293748153
Definitley Illegal, contact the Labor board.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do I need to contact the labor board or an attorney?

I haven't told them officially that I have quit, because im wanting them to tell me im fired first. But im pretty sure I already have a case anyways because of lost wages the past week. They haven't answered my question if I still have a job or not. Im pretty sure that is illegal to. IM just trying to get some advice from some people who have had the disease for a bit.

Im only 19, and I just found out that I had through blood work, and now im scheduled to see the disease doctor in six weeks.

& also do I need to notify my employers from now on that I have hcv?
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Avatar_m_tn
Labor board (not sure what that is) or attorney, the point is you need someone familiar with the law. If you do the wrong thing you can foul up the case. Get some advice before you make another move. Either one will talk to you for free I would think.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't quit, they can only fire you and leave themselves open to real liability. They can not force you to quit, even if they take you off the schedule. This may be a difficult battle and you may get attention you don't want so be prepared for that as you make your decisions.

Good Luck-
Dave
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Avatar_f_tn
No, do not tell your furture employers.  You may have to disclose you have the virus to the insurance company if you are not insured and plan on appling for group health insurance but if you aren't in the system and the insurance companies can't access your medical records, don't tell.  If you are already covered and plan on keeping up your insurance up through Cobra, as long as there is no lapse in coverage you are automatically covered, regardless of pre-exisiting conditions.  

Trinty
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Avatar_n_tn
But isn't lost wages for the time that their putting me off for work so they can decide if I can work there or not?

I mean this is becoming ridiculous. I just wan't to tell all those ignorant people to shove it, but im afraid then I won't have a case.

I spoke with an attorney and he told me to call him back Friday, and that he was going to look up more information on hep c. Im pretty sure he will pick up my case because this is definitely discrimination. Bringing in the clearance letter from the doctor should have been enough to put me back on the schedule. I feel like if I wasn't so young they wouldn't be taking advantage of me like this. I would just like to put them in their place.
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Avatar_f_tn
You weren't even required to provide a clearance letter so that in of itself is a violation.

Trinity
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179856_tn?1333550962
Lesson hard learned as others here have learned as well.  There is no way you can infect anyone and they could have found that out in ten minutes (as my job did when I stupidly told my boss who said he wouldn't tell anyone and then told HR and the whole entire senior staff).  he knew it was illegal to fire me outright so he kept making up stupid things saying i did or didn't do them then demoted me to sitting in a chair at a desk doing nothing, literally.  The next step would have been to say sorry but this position is no longer needed adios.  That is the kind of trick they can do - but they cannot fire you or take your shifts away because of disease.

You need somehow to get documentation that this is what has happened so you can prove it.  Tell them your doctor would like a letter stating exactly why you are not allowed to work so he can refute it perhaps. It's doubtful they will give it to you because they will know that it's illegal what they are doing but perhaps it will shake them up and get you back on the schedule. That would give you time to get an attorney to figure out what to do.

Anyway thats just an idea but don't give up.  It IS illegal what they are doing and you should be paid back wages plus damages if you ask me. I'm not lawyer though just another hepc patient who learned the hard way. Had my bosses boss not figured out what was happening to me I would have definitely been let go with no recourse. Instead, I got promoted and have been working for the bosses boss for five years now. Must have really burnt that pigs azz! :)

It pays to hang in there.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
what kind of attorney would this fall under?
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179856_tn?1333550962
Just asked my friend who is a brilliant attorney and I'll post it here as soon as she emails me back.
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179856_tn?1333550962
The lawyer just said you have not been fired yet so as of now you have no claim.

I would really try and get something in writing and push them to give you your job back.  It's hard to find a job these days - protecting it is in your best interest by forcing them to do the right thing.

If they fire you then at least you know you can do something.  Maybe there is some labor board or something in your area you can ask?
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446474_tn?1385271190
I agree with others here.
Many of us have made the same mistake of telling inappropriate people of our medical condition. Every company of any size has people that have conditions and medical treatment needs of one form or another. Does your boss tell you about their family's medical conditions? I doubt it. It is personal and you have a legal right to keep your medical status private.

Don't quit!!! Let them make the move. Let them hang themselves. If you quit you could loose benefits and won't be able to get unemployment. If they fire you you can collect unemployment should you need to and you will be able to sue them. You will have a great case so should have no problem getting an attorney who will take the case.

One piece of advice. Document, document, document! Remember the saying, if it is not in writing it doesn't exist. Set down and write down everything that has happened as best you can with dates. Write down everything that happens from now on. You need to do this if you should need to sue them.
Have them put everything in writing. Don't depend on word of mouth. They can just deny it. Write an email or letter asking when you can work again. Say that you are ready and willing to work and have complied to their request for a doctor's note. All written documents will have legal standing.

You are in a good position. Just hang tight and let them make the moves. Communicate that you are willing and able to work. Don't say anymore. I think you know now that saying things that no one has a right to ask about (your health condition) can create trouble. Unfortunately many of us view others at work as our friends but as was said in the Godfather movie, "It's not personal it's business".

Good luck. Let us know what happens.
Hectorsf

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1431734_tn?1333920149
perfect advice from all. i was in the food business for all 37 years that i have had hcv and before. i never told employers for this reason. fortunately if your company has more than 15 employees you are protected by the ada. read up, get educated, document, do nothing that could jeopardize your job (so they cant find another reason to fire u). this could turn out in your favor. dont quit and dont quit your job. best, babs
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Avatar_f_tn
Good advice!! Hang in there!!
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1431734_tn?1333920149
the web for the eeoc equal employ. oppty. has good info on enforcement of ada...good luck, b
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1225178_tn?1318984204
I'd go to the CDC web site and print out their page on HCV. Surely your employer won't argue with the CDC

Diane
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1431734_tn?1333920149
but dont tip your hand with your employer til they screw themselves. act innocent til then. sorry but this is how it works...
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Avatar_m_tn
just hang in there dont quit THEY CANNOT FIRED YOU , AND IF THEY DO YOU ARE A RICH PERSON STAY THERE AND DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
CIAO
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Avatar_n_tn
Being an immigrant in this country I can laugh out loud about all these EOE rules and ADA, etc. Yes, rest assured your employer knows it is illegal to openly fire you due to your health condition like HCV. Just it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their color or national origin, and so on... But they will make their best to find a way to fire you no matter what, if they really feel like doing it. So, get your case together, a good lawyer might help, some of them offer pro bono sometimes... And finally - start looking for another job. Because do you really want to stay working in a team where people treat you this way? I don't think so. I think you would feel much better if you leave and find a better company to work for. I know it might sound a little bit out there, as it is really hard to find a good employer today.
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Avatar_n_tn
I already have another job lined up, and I haven't actually quit the one that im in a argument.

BUT GET THIS..
they said after I gave them the clearance letter that had left a msg with the health dept, and that they was waiting on the health dept to call them back.

called the health dept today they said they had not received one msg asking about and employee with hep c.

im sure this is enough information, for something..
spoke with an attorney and told me to call him today and he said that he wan't to make an appointment up with me.

im pretty sure I have a case..plus its funny to keep harassing my old job asking if im still employed or not,

like I really care ;)

you live and learn
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Avatar_m_tn
I told my boss of six years that I just found out I had HEP C ---- we have always been respectful and close - I only told him because I missed about three days of work which was very unusual for me ---- he made me tell the CFO, President and my Co-Managers that I was just diagnosed with an illness and may miss work. He said he did not want the President or CFO to get upset with me if I was out alot.

In addition, he scheduled a class on blood pathegeon transmissions at work. The HR person told me it was becuase of me he wanted the classes. It was an awful experience sitting through this class especially because he made me tell them I was diagnosed with an illness - I even had a co-manager ask me if the class was about me.

The trainer kept saying in the class she did not know why we would request this class that we were not an industry that required it and did not see the risk.

Was my boss within his rights? I felt as if mine were violated.

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Avatar_f_tn
I was just fired Friday because while I was out having a biopsy one of the servers at my job shared with the mgmt. that I had hep c. They called me and asked for a release for work, my Dr refused to give them one saying it wasn't their business. When I went back to work on Friday, I was fired... they wrote on my termination papers for misconduct, which Ive never been written up, for work quality/ quantity.. whatever that means, and for absenteeism... Ive never missed one day. I called the EEOC and made a complaint and they said I had a case. Contact the EEOC its online.. you can call them and then you have to fill out a complaint for that you print off. I have a DR and an employee as witnesses so basically that business is screwed!!! But the problem is I have trouble getting a job now because I don't know what to write on why I don't work there. I don't wanna say I quit because it looks bad on my work history, but I don't wanna get into the real truth so they can ask questions. SO Im screwed......
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