Thrivent Charged with ADA Violation

October 4, 2010 ( – Thrivent Financial for Lutherans illegally made public a temporary employee’s confidential medical information, according to a federal lawsuit.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit against the Appleton, Wisconsin-based financial services company said Thrivent violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it inquired about the employee’s medical condition and then revealed to prospective employers that he suffers from migraine headaches.  Thrivent’s disclosures hurt the employee’s ability to obtain employment from those employers, the EEOC charged

The agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee, in addition to an order requiring other relief and barring future discrimination. 

“Americans do not give up their privacy rights when they go to work,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office, in a news release. “The ADA makes it clear that an employee’s medical information should remain confidential, and that employers should not be allowed to ruin an employee’s job prospects by revealing that sensitive information to other employers.”