Should employers be able to implement “lifestyle policies”? why or

Should Employees Be Punished for Unhealthy Lifestyle?


Johnson and Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., which sells wellness  programs to companies estimates that 15 to 25 percent of corporate health care cost stem from employees’ unhealthy lifestyle conditions. As a result, individuals may not be hired, might even be fired, and could wind up paying a monthly penalty based on their afterhours activities. Here are some examples:

•TBS won’t hire smokers

•Pepsi, smokers pay surcharge of $50 per month

•Multi-Developer won’t hire anyone who engages in what the company views as high-risk activities like skydiving, piloting a private plane or mountain climbing.

Federal civil rights laws generally don’t protect against lifestyle discrimination because smoker and skydivers are not named as protected classes. However, some states passed laws that protect employees from adverse employment actions if their use of a lawful products (such as tobacco) occurs outside of work.


QUESTION: Should employers be able to implement “lifestyle policies”? Why or why not?


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