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More employees weigh in on Slate’s wellness expose

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Silly us! We already published comments from employees on the Slate article “Workplace Wellness Programs Are a Sham” on the assumption that, two weeks after publication, the news cycle would have ended. And yet the article has “legs” — it’s up to 5500 Facebook shares (about five times Slate’s already-impressive average) and 611 retweets (ditto). Most importantly for our purposes, a new wave of beleaguered employees is weighing in, so to speak:

  • My husband’s new employer uses these programs and in my experience the extreme challenge of actually downloading the correct forms to submit my wellness check only led to someone with very good blood pressure to have theirs raised significantly. As my husband put it, this program is an ‘unvitation’ to save money. If I were the employee, I would have spent half a workday navigating in order to accomplish this task.
  • I teach an inherited  “Wellness for Healthcare Administrators” class at a college in California. It took me a month to figure out there was complete fraud in the wellness program claims that you expose in your excellent article. Unfortunately, textbook publishers are still pumping out fatuous tomes of enormous size laden with B.S. so vulnerable students are robbed of their money as well as the truth.  THANK YOU FOR EXCELLENT JOURNALISM! 
  • At my last job, they offered on-site yoga, but kept a list of who attended…[and said the] next time they had to do layoffs, they were going straight to the yoga list because if people had time to do yoga, they obviously weren’t working hard enough.
  • Do people really consider HRA’s and biometric screenings as wellness programs? That’s part of the problem. And why should I listen to what they have to say? It’s not like I don’t know what they are going to say or tell me. I can even Google what they will tell me.
  • The whole idea of these wellness programs is that if you are ill, you must be stupid, irresponsible, or both. It’s all about blaming people who are sick. I absolutely hate the people who made me go through all that humiliation when I was so sick. If I could punch them in the face, I would. 

Um, tell us how you really feel…



  1. […] subject employees to fines of thousands of dollars in outcomes-based programs. Most employees hate being forced to submit to these programs (“I’d like to punch them in the face,” said one), and they invariably lose money. […]


  2. […] favor as a consequence of ineffectiveness, expense, administrative burden, and as described at size in many comments to a Slate article on this subject (“I’d prefer to punch them within the face”), unpopularity. Talking of […]


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