Unhealthy Habits Could Hurt Your Pay Check

Employers are fining, firing based on lifestyle
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2007 3:10 PM CDT
Unhealthy Habits Could Hurt Your Pay Check
   (Index Stock)

Unhealthy living is getting more expensive, the Chicago Tribune reports, with employees facing fines or even firing for not satisfying company health requirements. Michigan's Weyco fines workers $50 per paycheck if they or their spouses smoke. Indianapolis' Clarian takes away $5 for each blood-pressure, body-mass, or other health-based benchmark you may fail.

"Employers are trying to thin out their health-care costs, by any means necessary," one workers' advocate says. "Employers started with smokers. Now they're moving on to the general population." Employers are combating those costs by recouping them through fines, implementing tiered insurance premiums depending on an employee's health, or simply not hiring candidates solely because they smoke or are obese. (More obesity epidemic stories.)

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