Employee Biometric Screening: Is it Legal?

It seems that around every corner is a lawsuit just waiting to happen with potentially far-reaching hazardous effects on your business.  We hope you have been unscathed thus far by employee lawsuits; however, you have probably at some point felt the effect of red tape and legal jargon that has been tacked onto every new program and change you have within your corporation.  

While it may seem daunting to constantly be concerned about how you are being represented legally, in the end it results in a better environment for you and your employees.  Both employee and employer need their rights protected and a fair environment in which to work.  

employee biometricEmployee biometric screening can, at times, cause reason for alarm within a workplace.  Some employers have had to face legal fees and time in court in order to prove (or disprove) that their wellness program options and rewards were non-discriminatory.

We want to help you avoid any unfortunate misunderstanding altogether.  Here are a few tips to make sure that your employee biometric screenings are completely legal:

3 Ways to Ensure Your Employee Biometric Screening is Legal

  1. If an insurance-based incentive is offered, make sure to clearly communicate that it is a discount for those who receive employee biometric screenings.  It does not add any additional costs for those who do not participate.  This is important to clarify, as the latter would be considered a penalty for non-participation, thus discrimination.
  2. There are strict HIPAA privacy laws protecting your employees’ health information and results from getting into your hands.  No matter how badly you may want to see them, you can’t.  However, some companies may be able to provide a general health report with percentages of health issues, but no names involved.  This allows you as the employer to customize your wellness program to meet the specific health needs of your employee base.
  3. Remember that, in the end, the goal of employee biometric screening is to provide information and education to your employees.  The hope is that the knowledge of health problems will result in the desire to affect change.  Your goal is to present a clear picture of their health (through offering biometric screenings for employees) and then provide the necessary programs and incentives to encourage a lifestyle change.  This results in a better quality of life for your employees and a real time savings in healthcare costs for you.

Remember that participation increases with incentives, but the programs/incentives must not communicate a penalty or missed opportunity within the workplace if not followed.

Wellworks For You provides many more ideas for developing your employee wellness program.  Call us at 800.425.4657 to find out more or visit us here for a complete list of programs available.  

Employee Biometric | Employee Biometric Screening