Wellness Plans Affect Workers Compensation Settlements

If one’s boss offered to pay their employees $100.00 more a month to eat healthy, exercise more or quit smoking, that may seem like an invasion of privacy to some. Alternatively, if one’s boss stated they were going to dock pay if employees failed to perform those same tasks, that would likely seem like an invasion of privacy to many more people. However this is exactly what new “wellness programs” are currently attempting.

The wellness programs are new programs that are designed to lower the costs of health insurance for employers. The programs do this by many various means, some positive, while others extremely negative in the eyes of many. In some cases, the programs provide gym memberships and programs that help people to quit smoking. In other cases, workers could be required to pay more if they do not pro-actively obtain certainly screenings or in some cases; workers could be forced to pay a penalty if they fail to meet certain standards. These controversial requirements could affect future workers’ compensation settlements.

How this can cause problems is not difficult to see. It is likely that many of those workers, if they are injured from a work accident would be apply for workers’ compensation benefits stemming from the injury. If they either failed to get certain screenings in a timely manner or did not fit a very specific set of requirements, then they could be denied workers compensation benefits or receive much less than they would otherwise be entitled to. Once those issues arise, it would not be long before a Worker’s Compensation Settlement Attorney would need to get involved in order to make sure the worker is properly compensated.

Staying healthy is certainly beneficial for everyone, both workers and employers alike. However, when an employer or insurance company starts to tell workers how they are supposed to act outside of work, it can cause serious problems.

Source: Labor Notes, “No Comp Time for Newtown Police to Cope with PTSD; ‘Wellness Cops’ at Work; NLRB Beefs Up Back Pay,” Mike Elk, Jan. 12, 2013