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Employment Blog

EEOC Strikes Again

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on September 17, 2014
Filed under Employment

I mentioned in a blog several weeks ago that summer was gone and the EEOC was embarking upon a renewed effort to "flex its muscles" and pursue claims designed to limit the rights of employers. The EEOC has acted again by bringing a lawsuit against a California company challenging the language in an employee information release form that gave the company the right to ask for medical information from physicians and other professionals after an employee completed a fitness for duty exam.

In this litigation, the EEOC has alleged a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act by suggesting that the scope of information that was requested by the company in the release form discriminated against certain employees because the company was asking for any and all medical information about the employee instead of only about the medical condition of the employee. The EEOC has said that the information release form is so broad that it violates the rights of an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act by inquiring about medical information that is not related to business necessity and to the need for information that would be used by the company to determine the ability of the employee to return to work.

This is another example of the EEOC looking for cases to bring a challenge to company policies and practices in order to limit the right of a company to obtain information about its employees. Employers must be careful about what they are asking of their employees in situations where they are asking for medical information. The scrutiny of employer practices has been expanded thru these types of Agency enforcement actions.