Delphi Asked Employee to Sign Release to Look at Employee Medical Records – Gets Fined for Violating Privacy Laws
Posted Jul 19 2009 11:04pm
If you are an employer, this is something to take note of, it is not ok to ask employees to sign a release to probe employee medical records. This move crossed the line beyond asking for a medical release to return to work as an example. Perhaps recent financial issues with being bankrupt might have had some influence with keeping costs down and there is a firm in Beverly Hills bidding on taking over the world’s largest auto parts maker and a big supplier to General Motors. BD
Auto parts manufacturer Delphi has settled a suit with the EEOC alleging the company made prohibited medical inquiries into employees’ health and retaliated against staff who objected. Delphi required employees returning from sick leave to sign releases allowing the company to probe their medical records. When one employee in Rochester objected, he was immediately terminated.
Delphi will pay him $80,000. Additionally, Delphi will change its sick leave policy and train its supervisors on which medical inquiries are allowed and which are not.
Note: Employers may not go on fishing expeditions into employees’ medical records. You can request medical certification of the need for leave under the FMLA, or obtain information on medical restrictions on the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions. All inquiries must be job-related and of business necessity.