Being healthy is all the rage, isn’t it?
Well it would seem as such if you attempted to look after your health on your personal time. But when employers try to incentivize it, many workers say it simply isn’t the same.
This is the attitude of many workers who are forced into taking part in their companies wellness programs. These programs are the latest in work benefits that are designed to aid in workers’ health and fitness goals. However, although these programs are intended to be good, some see them as being slightly invasive and almost legally compromising.
“People sometimes assume that if it’s wellness, it can only be good,” attorney Jonathan Segal, a partner in the employment law practice at Duane Morris, told the Huffington Post. “But just because your goal is laudable doesn’t mean that your means of achieving it are appropriate.”
He predicts that wellness programs could go awry in the future.
“Two of the easiest ways for employers to get into trouble are by asking the wrong questions in a health screening, and requiring participation by employees instead of encouraging it. This is an area of litigation that’s in its nascent stage, and I think we’re going to see an increase in legal claims against employers, which will mirror bigger, national trends relating to privacy and confidentiality, to the expanded definition of who is protected under anti-discrimination laws, and our general trend toward more workplace lawsuits.”
Many workplaces are beginning to require employees to improve their health. According to a Forbes report, annual healthcare costs have risen over 5,000 dollars. Companies are finding that much of those healthcare expenses are being shelled out of their pockets – in 2011 employers paid 60.3 percent of healthcare costs for their employees. Therefore providing incentive for corporations to adopt these wellness programs.
Would you take part in your companies wellness program?