Postal FMLA Coordinators Requiring Employees To Release Medical Info to USPS Law Department

From Michael J Hora, President, National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local #321

FMLA Coordinators Soliciting Release of Medical Information to USPS Law Dept.

The Postal Service is soliciting medical releases for those employees that are required to partake in the 2nd and 3rd opinion process. In doing so, the FMLA Coordinators are requiring employees to release the “specified information” to the USPS Law Department. Specifically, the USPS is requesting access to:
Any and all records regarding treatment, including but not limited to, all current and past medical treatment, aliments and/or conditions (sic);

Other: Stress, Psychological and/or Medical Disorders, Aliments, Conditions (sic) to include a copy of complete chart, progress notes & interview notes, discharge summaries, operative reports, x-ray & all imagery, laboratory tests, pathology tissue, and all diagnostic studies whether in electronic data or other format.
The Local Union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, and we have asked Senator Udall to intervene. We are also addressing the issue at the National level.
The request seems highly improper. What legal purpose does the Law Department have with sensitive, private and personal medical information? Is the Law Department going to review x-rays and pathology tissue?
The USPS letter goes on to assert that the information sought is the “minimum necessary” to accomplish the intended purpose of the request. There is nothing minimal about the information being sought. It is the Postal Service’s customary and routine practice to request everything.

Hopefully we will have this resolved quickly. Until then, we need to have every mail handler that is pushed to a 2nd and/or 3rd opinion (and required to sign the referenced medical release) to file a complaint with the DOL. The Union can assist you with this. It is nothing more then a simple letter written to:

Denver Colorado District Office Martin Barrow, District Director

US Department of Labor ESA Wage & Hour Division 1999 Broadway, Suite 2445 Denver, CO 80202-5712

Those that are affected and do file complaints should remind the DOL that the USPS will likely terminate their FMLA (for refusing to sign and return the medical release) asserting non-cooperative with the 2nd/3rd opinion process. They should ask for appropriate extensions until their complaint is addressed. Additional information will be posted as this situation develops.

See documents accompanying FMLA request (PDF)