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Hepatitis C infection is considered a “disability” under antidiscrimination law in Canada.
It is illegal for an employer or union to harass or discriminate against a person because of a “disability,” even if the only thing that limits the person’s ability to do the job is prejudice or stereotypes about the disability.
Employers and unions cannot fire or treat a person negatively because he or she is infected with HCV or needs some time off because of symptoms of hepatitis C or side effects of hepatitis C treatment.
If a person is sick because of the virus or medications used to treat HCV, the employer or union may need to make “accommodations” so that the employee can continue to do the essential duties of the job.
Employers cannot ask about a hepatitis C infection during the application or interview process.
This means that when a person is diagnosed with HCV his or her name (and likely other information) is given to local, provincial or territorial Public Health.
Public Health officials have a responsibility to monitor cases of infectious diseases, including hepatitis C.
But there are exceptions to these general rules, such as situations where there may be a legal duty for a person to disclose his or her HCV infection, or where someone else may have the legal power to disclose such information.
Read the entire FAQ below, or click on a link to skip to a specific situation: Hepatitis C is a reportable disease.