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
The same thing happened where I work. The unions employees would work overtime on Saturday & Sunday, getting time and half and double time and then take off on Monday and maybe Tuesday. This would mess up production so they had to offer overime again the next week to make up for it. It was an endless cycle.
That's right, but I still have personal integrity and a work ethic. How do you get rid of deadbeats in your workforce if there is no way to prove they are deadbeats? If they do end up infecting the rest of your people with a bad attitude, what do you do?
Well what do you suggest a company do, then? Just play deas and let their employees run the show.
Companies have no business snooping in someone's medical files. Whatever happened to a bringing a note from the doc or a reciept from an office visit. In some of the companies I have worked for, if they had access to people's medical records, everything in them would be common knowledge within 24 hours due to the incurable gossips working in the office.
My opinion is that the company should fire the deadbeats.
But, regardless of the question, snooping into confidential medical files is NOT the answer.
So I guess we won't be seeing any posts from you that bitches about the quality of US made goods!
When the guy who's supposed to show up to put on the steering wheel doesn't make it into work, and doesn't call in, and dosen't care because he is not measured, and paid, and advanced for his superior output or attendance or even lack of body odor, that means either the line stops, or someone else has to do the job that the trained guy was supposed to do. So, either the company has a few hundred extra guys around waiting for an assignment when the shift starts; or the line is stopped; or the car goes down the line without a steering wheel. If this pool of extras arn't needed for today's no shows, they get paid anyway.
Now take that example for a really complex part, that's buried in an engine or electronic part. We don't want to hear from you that your car broke down because of some stupid engineer at GM designed your car wrong.
It should be that if you don't show up, you're fired, and the company should be able to call back one of their laid off workers, who they continue to pay 90% wages and benefits. But that's against the union contract, so the company is totally stymied.
So ARCADIA, what would you do?
Please tell me what you are actually saying, Arcadia, because your responses scare me.
The only issue here is whether or not an employee can be coerced into voluntarily surrendering his or her most private information.
My sense of integrity and personal responsibility tells me these are not the kind of employers with whom I would want to shake hands. I might give them a certain ungentlemanly finger salute though.
They should find a different way to solve their absenteeism costs.
If you're sick, stay home. Most people don't go to a doctor but treat their temporary cold/flu/upset stomach at home. Running out to get a doctor's permission slip is counterproductive. Why sit two hours with other sick people in a doctors office waiting for him to tell you you're "sick" and there is nothing much he can do about it?
I certainly never want either myself or other people at work in a sick condition. Not only do they perform poorly, but they infect other, healthy people. It drives me crazy when somebody who is obviously sick shows up and infects everybody else.
A good solution is to make a courtesy phone call sometime during the day to check up on the employee's health and see when they think they will get back to work so you can make plans to cover for them if they think they will be out for a while. That should prevent a lot of abuse.
You can't do that, according to unions. The company I work for recently had managers begin calling the missing employee, and if there was no answer, they dispatched someone to the employees home to do a 'welfare check'. The union demanded they cease and desist or in addtion to filing grievances, they would file civil rights lawsuits and go to the press.
Oh, but other posters here don't think you should have to go to the doctor if you have cold or flu. You'd be 'forcing' people to go to the doctor even if they don't think it necessary.
Unfortunately, too many employees behave like children by calling in "sick" so they can play golf, go to the ball game, or do their Christmas shopping.
"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."
Is it really voluntary if they face repercussions? On another note, I heard on the radio this AM that the absenteeism rate for UAW members is 10%. If that is the case for Delphi, then absenteeism has created 3,000+ jobs for the UAW. They should come out in favor of more absenteeism.
The day after the Super Bowl is the biggest absenteeism day of the year.
If people have real influenza or a stomach virus, then by all means stay home. The common cold is part of life and if people don't catch it at the office, they'll catch it at the mall or on the subway or in McDonalds etc. Too many people call in sick because of the sniffles or a headache. My response, "Suck it up and get your ass in here."
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