Nearly everyone gets sick at some point during their employment. For most of us, the time we get sick can easily conflict with our work schedule. When an employee is sick, the employee can typically call in sick to their employer and be excused from their work obligation for the day or period of time. The use of sick leave in Kansas and Missouri generally seeks to prevent employee discrimination by protecting the employee from unlawful intrusion into the employee’s medical record by the employer.
Dillard’s is a large retail store and employer, which conducts employment in both Kansas and Missouri. A lawsuit was filed by the employees of Dillard’s claiming the employer’s actions constituted discrimination. As stated in the lawsuit, the employer unlawfully requested employee’s medical records on a standard basis when an employee used sick leave.
The lawsuit was a class action lawsuit that claimed the employer’s actions of requesting medical information violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit claimed the employer required an employee who invoked sick leave to turn in a doctor’s note that stated the extent of the employee’s treatment and the exact nature of the employee’s illness. It was claimed that employees who refused to turn in the requested medical information were terminated.
The employer decided to end the litigation process by settling the lawsuit. As part of the settlement process, the employer will pay approximately $2 million to identified employees, hire a consultant to review the employer’s policies, provide appropriate training to supervisors and comply with annual reporting requirements to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Source: Fresnobee, “Dillard’s pays $2M to settle discrimination claims,” Sam Hananel, Dec. 18, 2012