Saturday, March 22, 2014

CVS Sued: Wellness Plan Asked About Employee Sex Life and Weight with Refusal Resulting in $600 Penalty

This is from the Huffington Post:
A CVS employee is suing the pharmacy chain over its controversial health-screening program. 
CVS cashier Roberta Watterson claims the company made her disclose personal information, including her weight and level of sexual activity, threatening to charge her $600 a year if she refused. 
CVS' so-called "wellness review," first reported last year, is a fairly extreme example of a trend of companies looking to cut health-care costs by pushing employees into wellness programs. 
Critics claim such programs let employers meddle in workers' lives, unfairly penalize those who have difficulty meeting certain health targets and may put employee privacy at risk. 
Though CVS' program is technically voluntary, workers who want to use the company health-care plan pay $600 more in health care costs each year they don't submit to the screening. 
“I think what irked people with the CVS program was the slightly coercive nature,” said Soeren Mattke, a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation. “It’s more common to offer smaller rewards, it’s less common to say you have to pay $500 bucks if you don’t participate.” 
Though Watterson's suit highlights the privacy concerns raised by employer health screenings, her more pressing claim in the suit is that CVS should compensate her for the cost of the health screening as well as the gas she used to travel to the doctor and the free time she spent getting tested. The suit is seeking class-action status. ...