Skip to comments.Automotive supplier cracks down on absenteeism (Delphi wants access to medical records)
Posted on 05/11/2005 4:59:40 AM PDT by wmichgrad
TROY, Mich. (AP) Delphi Corp., intent on containing costs in tough times, is cracking down on absenteeism by threatening to withhold pay or vacation days from hourly employees who refuse to sign waivers releasing their medical records.
The Troy-based automotive supplier had had a less formal policy asking workers to sign medical record releases. In April, however, Delphi revised the waiver form to give employees fewer choices over what records are released and by more aggressively investigating absences it considers suspicious.
"If the employee will not sign the `consent to release medical information' form, management will have to make its decision as to the reasonability of the cause for absence with the limited information it has at its disposal," according to a memo outlining the policy provided to The Detroit News.
Signing the waivers is optional for Delphi's 34,000 U.S. employees covered by the policy, and workers can limit the information that is released, company spokeswoman Luce Rubio said. But workers who withhold access to their medical records may face repercussions, she said.
"If Delphi is unable to identify that the absence is medically necessary, it may be treated as unexcused and they may be charged with vacation time," Rubio said.
The company negotiated the waiver policy with the United Auto Workers union, Rubio said. But Gregg Shotwell, a member of UAW Local 2151 which represents workers at a Delphi plant in Coopersville near Grand Rapids, said he was concerned that the policy could encourage Delphi to "push it as far as they can" and take even more invasive measures.
Delphi is about $4 billion in debt and is likely to report large losses in 2005, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said last month in lowering the company's credit rating further into "junk" status. Delphi has struggled because of high steel prices and production cuts at General Motors Corp., from which it was spun off in 1999.
On the Net:
Delphi Corp., http://www.delphi.com
Information from: The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com
Oh, good. It's the COMPANY'S fault! What's your incentive to go to work? Mine's a paycheck.
So is mine.
But, you still have not made the case that a company should have access to it's employees PRIVATE MEDICAL RECORDS.
My wife cannot even see my medical records. What gives some boss the right to even have the temerity to ASK, much less demand?
My wife had an OB/GYN appointment last week. At the end of the office visit, she asked the nurse for a doctor's excuse for her absence from work.
That did the trick.
That's my point! Jock itch would not prevent me from showing up for work, at least I hope not. But, if I did stay home to go to the doctor (for whatever) and HR requests my records, does someone HR need to have access to my personal jock itch issue? What if an employee perceives their illness as embarrassing or possibly puts their employment on the line? Some will forgo treatment fearing that work find out. BTW, jock itch was just an example. As a female, I have yet to experience that. : )
Like I said before, we don't know that that approach hasn't been tried. Your wife can see your medical records; if you sign a waiver. Delphi can't see their employees medical records, unless they sign a waiver. See how that works?
Some years ago, my grandfather worked for an auto manufacturer. Much of his job could best be described as the "drunk wrangler." Absenteeism was so high on Mondays that his job was to go out and roust enough employees out of bed so they could start the assembly line.
The problem isn't illness, it's laziness -- and union contracts.
Exactly. I have be on the verge of death before I go to the doctor. The last few bouts I have had with a bad case of influenza have been in the bed, throwing up, popping flu pills, and groaning a lot.
Maybe I should have made audio tapes of my groans and saved a sample of my vomit for my employer's scrutiny.
German automakers actually have a saying along the lines of, "Never buy a Monday Car."
Please tell me you do not advocate people being able to be absent from work and not having to say why, even if it is embarrassing.
Yep. IF I sign a waiver.
If any employer demands that an employee sign such a waiver, the only correct response is hilarious laughter.
Sorry, but these workers brought this on themselves.
Where I work, a doctor's not is sufficient. In fact, HIPAA regulations restrict doctor's offices from stating why. The only time medical information is provided is for legal disability or FMLA. Our company has third party that handles those, specifically for employee confidentiality.
I don't believe it. Another person on a conservative board who believes in integrity and personal responsibility.
I person should have to tell the employer why they are not coming to work, not just say, "I'm sick," and show up a week later.
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