Tenth Circuit: Not Unreasonable to Send Employee Home to Establish Ability to Continue Working When Employer is Ignorant of Disease Disclosed by Employee

In Fryer v. Coil Tubing Services, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's decision dismissing an employee's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim. In this case, the employee disclosed to his employer that he suffered from Hepatitis C. The human resource manager he discussed the disease with admitted she was unaware of the disease or its effects but sent the employee home until a doctor could clear him to work. The employee sued the employer, in part, because he claimed that his employer regarded him as disabled when it did so. The Tenth Circuit upheld the trial court's decision stating, "Being temporarily uncertain of a situation is not the same as considering an employee disabled." The Court continued by explaining that it was "not unreasonable" for the employer "to give [the employee] an opportunity to establish his ability to safely work in the environment and to provide him full pay while it researched the situation.