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New state worker mandate: Report your ailments

The Des Moines Register
July 1, 2015

Jeff Nowak was quoted in The Des Moines Register on July 1 in the article, “New state worker mandate: Report your ailments.” The article addresses a new requirement that Iowa’s state government employees report their prescriptions and medical services to a private company—the Reed Group—that will monitor their absences has prompted at least three union complaints and questions about privacy. The article concludes with commentary from Jeff—Abuse of medical leave costs employers billions of dollars every year, and retaining third-party companies to help oversee the process helps to reduce problems and is becoming increasingly common, said Jeff Nowak, an Illinois attorney who specializes in the Family and Medical Leave Act and publishes the FMLA Insights Blog. Nowak contends that medial privacy is improved with a third-party vendor because the information is generally out of the hands of an employee’s immediate supervisor. “I understand that may be a concern on an employee’s part, but in reality, I don’t see that happening,” Nowak said.