"Well, the UAW really dropped the ball on this one."
I have to agree with you. I work in health care and have expert experience with patient confidentiality, HIPAA, union negotiations, medical claims and employee benefits. Employers have NO right to access employee (and their family member) medical records. They should enforce their existing policies for approved absences. There is no need to request medical records which are filled with personal details that are not relevant to what is an excused medical absence. The union really screwed this up. If I had chronic jock itch, as well as some other medical condition, would I want my benefit clerk at work to know about it?,
People who do not deal with this problem do not understand how completely frustrating and EXPENSIVE it is to companies, especially when you have unions protecting these deadbeat employees. I would wager other measures short of this have been tried with no success.
There is a law if I am not mistaken regarding AIDS. A person requesting medical leave does not have to disclose the illness--it is confidential. I believe AIDS was the motivating factor regarding this but I am not sure.