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March 07, 2011 ABA Journal Podcast

Are Employers Prepared to Enforce Wellness Programs If Employees Start to Slack Off?

By Stephanie Francis Ward

Smoking and obesity cost employers a significant amount of money, say some lawyers; so much that many businesses have embraced wellness plans.

The offerings strongly encourage employees to participate in fitness and track their routines with outside vendors in exchange for health insurance discounts and sometimes even cash bonuses.

ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward talks with guests about how employers are using the plans, what seems to be working, and whether employers are prepared to enforce policies if their workers start to slack off.

Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Stephanie Francis Ward
Garry G. Mathiason is a senior shareholder at Littler Mendelson. The San Francisco lawyer supervises the firm’s employment and litigation matters.

Helen Rubenstein is a staff attorney with the Public Health Law Center at the William Mitchell College of Law. She works with grantees in Minnesota’s statewide health improvement program, and she provides legal and policy technical assistance on issues relating to community programs focused on reducing obesity and tobacco use.

Harvey A. Schwartz was a founding partner of Rodgers Powers & Schwartz in Boston. Since June 2008, he has been of counsel to the firm. His clients include Scott Rodrigues, who challenged an employer’s right to fire an employee who smoked cigarettes.