October 1, 2007 / 7:36 PM / 12 years ago

U.S. sues Delphi over worker medical records

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said on Monday it sued Delphi Corp DPHIQ.PK for allegedly making illegal inquiries about employees’ medical conditions and retaliating against those who objected.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, alleges that the auto parts maker violated federal law because it required workers returning from sick leave to sign releases permitting the company to access their medical information, it said.

The commission alleged that the company’s practices, which had been in place at least since 2004, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It said that Stanley Straughter, who was briefly employed as a laborer by Delphi in 2006, was fired after he objected to the company’s policy.

The company has also retaliated against other employees who object to the medical inquiries, the commission alleged.

“The ADA prohibits employers from making inquiries as to whether an employee is an individual with a disability unless the inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity,” the commission said in its complaint.

A spokesman for Delphi said he had not seen the lawsuit yet and did not have immediate comment. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal)

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