To help control significant health care cost increases, many employers are trying to regulate employees’ off-duty behavior when they believe that it creates health risks. Although motivated by legitimate economic concerns, are these employers overstepping the boundaries of individual privacy?
For example, employers often argue that smokers and overweight workers have higher health insurance claims than nonsmokers and employees who are not overweight. In response to those higher costs, more employers are instituting bans on hiring smokers, even if they only smoke during off-duty hours. Or they may charge more for health insurance to smokers and obese workers.
But it’s not just smokers and overweight people being targeted. Other groups that may be subject to such “lifestyle” regulation include people with hypertension or high serum cholesterol levels, social drinkers and sports enthusiasts.
Arguably, all daily activities c...(register to read more)