For workers at CVS, body fat can be costly

The company will penalize employees $600 a year if they don't take part in its 'voluntary' wellness program.

By Jason Notte Mar 20, 2013 2:26PM
A woman carries a bag as she leaves a CVS store in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesAnswering CVS (CVS) customers' questions about marked-down English muffins, sweeping up collapsed displays of Cadbury Creme Eggs and developing mankind's last known rolls of 35-mm film isn't demeaning, it's just work.


Having to disclose your weight and body fat levels just to get that gig is another story.


The Boston Herald disclosed CVS' new health screening policy Tuesday and revealed that workers who fail to comply would face $50-a-month surcharge. That $600-a-year penalty somewhat undermines CVS' suggestion that the new policy is "voluntary," but it's an increasingly common move by companies looking to save money by avoiding employees with costly health conditions.


Under the new federal health care insurance mandate, companies may also penalize obese workers, smokers and anyone else who doesn't participate in the company wellness plan and meet specific goals.


CVS Caremark, which has 200,000 employees, told all workers using the company insurance plan to have a doctor measure their weight, height, body fat, blood pressure and glucose and fasting lipid levels by May 1. CVS will pay for the screenings, but workers have to sign a form saying the screening is (kind of) voluntary and that they agree to let the company's insurer release results to WebMD Health Services Group. That organization, in turn, helps CVS interpret that data and determine who makes the cut.


Again, this is for a job at CVS.


But low-wage employees are already well aware of the increasing number of hoops employers are placing between them and their paychecks. On Tuesday, an unemployed Gawker reader told the site about the sheer number of online personality tests he was required to take just to be considered for a convenience-store clerk position.


Gawker decided to fill out an application for a job at Twice Daily convenience stores. It was subjected not only to questions about long hours, lengthy commutes, driving violations and drug tests, but also a "Hiring Assessment" that asked how much it agreed with the following statements, among others:


At work, I often procrastinate.
Most modern art is not really art.
I always complete a job, no matter what else is happening around me.
Variety is the spice of life.
I worry a lot about my job.
I never run out of energy.

This is what the low-end job market looks like. At least in CVS' case, a spokesman for the company told The Huffington Post that bosses won't have access to employee health care information once it's amassed.


Still, slapping a fine on employees who don't submit to health screenings puts CVS in some rare company. A 2012 Kaiser Permanente survey found that 18% of employers asked their workers to take part in a health risk assessment. Only a small share of them hit employees with a financial penalty for not completing it.


More on moneyNOW

2120Comments
Mar 20, 2013 3:02PM
avatar

I will be boycotting CVS!  this is plain discrimination and CVS should be taken to court over this as a hiring practice.  CVS...YOU SUCK!

 

All - I am OK with charging for health insurance based on how healthy you are, but folks this is dangerous territory when that can be used as a hiring practice.  What is unhealthy?  I am 6' and 185 lbs and in great shape but by definition my BMI is too high.  What happens when they use ugly, stupid, etc as a hiring practice?  My guess is many of you would not get hired!!!

Mar 20, 2013 3:18PM
avatar

LOL,

They make billions selling unhealthy food and then pimp their employees. What a bunch of jerks. Bye bye to that brand.

Mar 20, 2013 3:16PM
avatar
I just crossed CVS off my list of places where I will shop.
Mar 20, 2013 3:20PM
avatar
CVS is where I get all my prescrips and of course as I make my way to pick them up I see a myriad of things I might just need to pick up..or I may have a list and knock out two tasks in one stop...but this new policy of CVS's is offensive and could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered 'voluntary' at a 'penalty' (doesn't that word alone counter the 'voluntary' nature of this policy) of $50 a month for non-volunteering employee's and I don't care how many companies are 'going this route'! It takes a great leader to keep a company unique, savvy and independent and from following in the footsteps of other companies 'just because'. Apparently CVS doesn't have that kind of leader. I am moving all my prescrips and will never enter a CVS store again if this policy is implemented.
Mar 20, 2013 3:19PM
avatar
The company will penalize employees $600 a year if they don't take part in its 'voluntary' wellness program.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

So, if you don't participate in the "VOLUNTARY" wellness program, you get fined!

Hey, CVS there's a word for this,,,,IT'S CALLED MANDATORY!

 

Mar 20, 2013 3:20PM
Mar 20, 2013 3:16PM
avatar
Welcome to the new contemporary discrimination world. The EEOC doesn't address contemporary discrimination so what next. Color of the eyes, hair, height, weather or not you wear glasses, jewelry, close to loose or to tight. My guess is that if this keeps going, an employee will have to have a full body and cavity search by a TSA agent. Wake up people, the Gestapo has come all the way from Germany and are after us all..
Mar 20, 2013 3:24PM
avatar
do all the people on welfare have to conform to this also...just beat a working person down again
Mar 20, 2013 3:19PM
avatar
Sounds like Mayor Bloomberg has a stake in CVS.
Mar 20, 2013 2:53PM
Mar 20, 2013 3:21PM
avatar
This appears to be a civil rights matter.  Where are the helpers for this.  How dare this corporation, one of the biggest drug pushers in the world do this. Shame on them and all others that participate  in this  this discriminatory practice.
Mar 20, 2013 3:19PM
avatar

I guess that I could buy into this if research ever proved anything and after afew years doesn't change their position on what is what, in this case being too fat.  All people are not fit if their numbers fall into a particular range, ie; people have different hormone markers where they are optimum.  So again, it's a point the finger at so n so for weighing too much.  Very discriminatory.  Is the next thing going to be raising the insurance premiums for smokers or race car drivers or skiers or mountain climbers because they are prone to more danger?  What about the dangers of animal rescue or being a CEO and firing 1/3 of your employees?  Those people are also high risk.  What is next then, people that work in high stress jobs, ie; fire fighters, police, first responders of any kind?  Once this starts, it just won't end.

Mar 20, 2013 3:18PM
Mar 20, 2013 3:20PM
avatar
"Under the new federal health care insurance mandate, companies may also penalize obese workers, smokers and anyone else who doesn't participate in the company wellness plan and meet specific goals."

Have to say this sure looks like the base is being set for a Demolition Man crossed with Gattica type future...if you're not "ideal" by someone's measure you are 2nd class.
Mar 20, 2013 3:18PM
avatar
I guess it's time to change pharmacies.
Mar 20, 2013 3:27PM
Mar 20, 2013 3:14PM
avatar
Everything is "Voluntary" the first year, then "Mandatory" the second. This is the mental conditioning of liberalism. Also see the book Nudge by Cas Sunstein the good friend of Obamas.
Mar 20, 2013 3:19PM
avatar
I would think every person would want the screening - but I think the company is crossing the line by slapping a fine on somebody for not agreeing to the 'voluntary' request.  Some companies are just asinine.
Mar 20, 2013 3:17PM
avatar
If people follow this plan, they will ultimately be out of a job if you think about it. It is not profitable for people to get healthy and take care of themselves, period!
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More

MSN MONEY'S