Union Alleges Spirit Used Health Info In Firings

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The union at Spirit AeroSystems is accusing the Wichita aerospace company of laying off hundreds of workers last year because they were older and either they or a family member had a costly medical condition.

The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace made the allegations in filings Wednesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by 10 former employees. The employees claim they were targeted after Spirit became a self-insured company.

The ex-workers also are asking the office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate whether the company unlawfully obtained their confidential medical information.

Spirit AeroSystems says the allegations are filled with distortions and misstatements. It says in a statement that personal health information is not used to make layoff decisions.

Posted by Greg Palmer