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TCU Files EEOC Discrimination Charges Against BNSF Sick Policy

Fri. March 23, 2012

TCU has filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad’s new policy on reporting medical events or conditions.

The sweeping new policy requires employees to file reports even if there is no reasonable basis for believing the condition or event has any impact on the employee’s ability to perform their job, and even when the employee’s own doctor has placed no limitation on the employee’s job activities.

The policy also requires employees to provide BNSF with highly personal medical information, including doctor’s notes, diagnostic test results and hospital discharge summaries.

TCU’s complaint to the EEOC alleges that the new policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Civil Rights Act.

A number of other rail unions filed similar charges with the EEOC, including IAM District 19.

In the EEOC complaint, TCU President Bob Scardelletti states, “Each day that BNSF’s policy remains in effect, more employees face the likelihood of having their statutory rights violated, and once an employee’s rights are violated – that is, once BNSF has been notified of the away-from-work medical condition and has obtained the employee’s statutorily-protected medical information – there is no way to undo the violation.”

Click here to view the charges and statement filed with the EEOC by TCU.

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