From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
United Parcel Service Inc. must turn over to the EEOC information about how it stores and discloses its employees’ medical information, a federal appeals court ruled ( EEOC v. United Parcel Serv. , 2017 BL 195905, 6th Cir., No. 16-2132, 6/9/17 ).
The data would help to shed light on a pending EEOC charge in which a UPS employee alleges improper disclosure of his private health information in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said June 9. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a broad right to employer information that’s “relevant” to a bias charge filed with the agency, the court said.
The decision is a victory for the EEOC on access to employer information. The Sixth Circuit endorsed a “generous” reading of what information is “relevant” to a discrimination charge. It follows a recent Ninth Circuit ruling that said courts deciding if the information sought is relevant should interpret that term broadly in favor of the EEOC.
Employers challenging an EEOC subpoena must prove the information sought is irrelevant to the underlying charge or would be “unduly burdensome” to produce. The U.S. Supreme Court has said Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act gives the EEOC broad authority to obtain information that could “cast light” on a discrimination charge. The ADA adopted the procedures laid out in Title VII.
Attorneys representing UPS weren’t immediately available for comment June 9. The EEOC declined to comment.
UPS operations manager Sinisa Matovski said the company posted his request for medical leave, along with a description of his condition and symptoms, on an intranet site visible to other employees. Other UPS workers also had their confidential medical data posted on the site, Matovski alleged. Matovski said that after he complained, UPS retaliated against him in violation of the ADA.
The EEOC in its investigation asked UPS to disclose how it generally handled employee medical data and decided what information was private and which could be posted. The company objected that parts of the EEOC information request weren’t relevant to Matovski’s charge and would be unduly burdensome to produce.
The company argued the EEOC could only see data related to Matovski and employees in substantially similar circumstances.
The EEOC’s authority to obtain information when investigating a charge isn’t so circumscribed, Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote in an opinion joined by Judges Alan E. Norris and Jane Branstetter Stranch.
The ADA charge alleges “unlawful use of medical examinations and inquiries,” so information that might show UPS had a “pattern” of such unlawful use is relevant to the underlying charge, the court said.
Matovski’s charge directly implicates the databases that UPS uses to store and potentially disclose employee medical information, the court said. A district court therefore didn’t abuse its discretion in finding such reports are relevant to the EEOC’s investigation, the Sixth Circuit said.
EEOC attorneys in Washington represented the agency. Dykema Gossett PLLC represented UPS.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin McGowan in Washington at email@example.com
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/EQUAL_EMPLOYMENT_OPPORTUNITY_COMMISSION_PlaintiffAppellee_v_UNITE?doc_id=XMK71CR0000N.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)