Los Angeles Times

Michael Hiltzik: A federal judge takes aim at 'voluntary' company wellness programs that invade your privacy

Companies love "wellness" programs for a number of reasons. These smoking-cessation, weight-loss, and disease-screening programs give workers the impression that their employers really care about their health. Ostensibly they save money, too, since a healthy workforce is cheaper to cover and less prone to absenteeism.

That's the touchy-feely story. The dark downside is that wellness programs also give employers a window into their workers' health profiles that is otherwise an illegal invasion of their privacy, under the guise of forcing them into "voluntary" wellness programs.

That's the aspect that bothered Federal Judge John D. Bates of Washington, D.C., just before Christmas, when he overturned a federal rule that arguably permitted employers

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times4 min readSociety
Commentary: A Milestone, Not A Starting Point
When police raided gay bars back in the day, they expected the patrons to scatter. But one hot Friday night 50 years ago, at the Stonewall Inn, no one was going anywhere. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, old, young - they booed and jeered as the
Los Angeles Times3 min read
Dodgers Beat The Giants But Lose Rich Hill Early In The Game
LOS ANGELES - Rich Hill needed 15 pitches to retire the side in order in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 9-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night. He recorded two strikeouts. He threw only four balls. It was, on the surfa
Los Angeles Times3 min read
Bol Bol Is The Most Interesting — And Polarizing — NBA Draft Prospect
NEW YORK - In one corner, you could see what stardom looks like. Zion Williamson, surrounded by cameras and microphones, relaxed back in his chair Wednesday and answered questions with a big smile on his face, comfortable and ready to take his place