About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wellness Incentives--Or Coersion?

The good folks over at CNN have posted an article on corporate wellness programs that asks, “Can your company force you to be healthy?

The piece includes positive personal anecdotes from people whose lives have been changed for the better by wellness programs. It also covers potential problems and employee concerns, saying: “Some people… bristle at what they perceive as having lifestyle choices dictated by an employer.”
For example, it details the case of Scott Rodrigues, who was fired from Scotts Miracle-Gro Company—which bans all workers from smoking—after testing positive for nicotine. He’s now suing the company for violating his privacy and civil rights.
Blogger Paul McAleer of BigFatBlog.com, which focuses on weight-related issues in the media, also discusses his concerns about weight and wellness initiatives, saying:
"[The term] 'health and wellness' has become a euphemism for 'not fat'… When employers set up these programs, they shouldn't penalize people for not losing weight. Your weight shouldn't be anyone's business but your own."
I've written quite a bit about these incentive issues previously. It's becoming a major issue.

In my opinion, it’s essential to get issues and concerns like this out into the open—to talk about them amongst ourselves, as employers, and also to educate employees about the real goals of corporate wellness initiatives.

No comments: