Too Much Control?
Recently, CNN ran an article about company wellness programs. It discusses the benefits of having health coaches at work, encouraging employees to go to a gym and to eat right, and offering weight-loss and smoking cessation programs. The article's author contributes this partially to the rising cost of healthcare, which makes sense -- if your employees are healthy, they won't be needing healthcare as often, and the company won't have to shell out the bucks to pay for their health expenses.
However, the article also discusses how some companies are banning smoking at the worksite, including outside of buildings and the parking lot. One man working at the University of Massachusetts Medical School said if employees are even caught smoking in their cars, they can be fired. Other companies won't even hire smokers -- even if they wait to light up until they get home. Some are wondering if weight loss will be the next target. Will companies one day penalize employees for not losing weight?
Obviously, being healthy is beneficial to both you and your company. And -- just in case you haven't heard this somewhere else -- smoking is bad for you. Those in the healthcare industry should realize this even more than the average Joe. But does your facility have a right to tell you that you can't smoke... or that you have to lose weight? What are your thoughts on this topic?