Shoreview, Minn.-based Cummins Power Generation faces a suit from the EEOC after it fired an employee who had missed work for refusing to provide medical information in conjunction with a fitness-for-duty examination. According to the suit, the company sought medical information that wasn’t related to the reason for the employee’s absence.
The suit alleges the company violated the ADA by making improper disability-related inquiries. It also maintains the company’s inquiries requested family medical history in violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
Cummins gave the employee the choice of either providing medical information or being terminated. When he refused to provide the information, the company followed through on its threat to fire him.
The EEOC alleges that the firing was retaliation against the employee for asserting his rights under both the ADA and GINA.
Note: The suit does not challenge the employer’s right to ask for a fitness-for-duty examination. However, those examinations must focus on the employee’s ability to perform the job’s essential functions in his current state of health.
Generally, asking about family medical history and medical conditions unrelated to the employee’s absence are too broad to pass muster under the ADA and GINA.