Pills in the Workplace, Workplace Wellness Programs, and Financial Planning

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The OperationsInc Navigator
April 27, 2015
Productivity Pills Becoming More Prevalent in the Workplace

According to The New York Times, Adderoll use is on the rise among working Americans. One doctor interviewed by The New York Times says this isn’t surprising, as the rates of abuse in college of the ADHD drug has risen, and these students are now entering the workforce. But the problem goes well beyond young workers, according to The New York Times. People who use these pills come from a wide variety of professions, including medical and finance, all with an effort to work faster and more efficiently. The side effects, however, can be great. The New York Times highlights immediate symptoms such as a rapid heart beat, sweating, and sleep loss, which could lead to further health problems, and changes in personality, and looks at several stories of lives destroyed by drug use for work productivity.


Workplace Wellness Programs Can Be Financially Incentivized

As Federal regulators approve the continued use of financial penalties and rewards from employers to encourage workplace wellness, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommended several safeguards, according to ABC News. These include protecting employees from being fired if he or she doesn’t wish to participate in a wellness program. ABC News states that financial incentives can be as high as 30% of the cost of health care premiums, but data is still inconclusive if these programs truly work. There are also questions relating to the ADA, says ABC News, which was created to protect those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, many of whom would not be able to participate in a workplace wellness program. 


Don’t Just Offer a 401(k), Offer Financial Planning

According to The Fiscal Times, employers should start offering financial education and planning along with their 401(k) packages. The Fiscal Times states that a new survey has been released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, showing that 70% of plan sponsors offer employees some sort of educational tool to assist with saving for retirement. Additionally, The Fiscal Times says that employers want to educate employees on properly using health savings accounts to plan for retirement, not just for short-term spending. 

OperationsInc CEO David Lewis on Bloomberg TV: Are Small Firms Neglecting HR?


HR Pro Tip: Disability Accommodation During Selection

There always is a lot of confusion pertaining to what an employer’s obligation may be when it comes to someone who is disabled and seemingly unable to perform the job available, including when considering someone with a disability for a position. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has several areas that are vague and non-specific, leaving the employer to make judgement calls. As a result, it is imperative to not dismiss a candidate’s viability for a slot due to disability, instead consulting an expert on your legal obligations and options. Generally speaking, the ADA calls for employers to make a “reasonable accommodation” for an employee so that they may perform their role. To that end, a business may need to provide a lifting device to someone wheelchair bound for a warehouse job that requires the lifting and placement of boxes. What’s not 100% clear is how small a business needs to be before the burden to make such a purchase is too great and therefore considered an unreasonable accommodation. Bottom line – seek out expert advice. 

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