Monday, 24 September 2018

Workplace Wellness – An Exercise in Frustration

that's not how this worksIf you are a regular reader of this blog or follower on social media, you’ve probably seen me discuss Al Lewis. Al is a wellness expert who often calls out the wellness industry on their fatphobia. Recently he took wellness companies to task saying, in part, “Attention, outcomes-based wellness vendors: can you please please stop harassing employees because of their weight…You are doing incalculable harm.”

I’m against compulsory workplace wellness plans entirely – I believe that the only facet of employees’ lives that employers should be involved in is compensating employees with a thriving wage in return for employees doing their jobs. Under the current US model compensation should include wages and benefits including health insurance. It would be my preference that health insurance not be attached to one’s job, but as long as it is, it should be looked at simply as another form of compensation. One’s employer should no more be allowed to get involved in how someone uses their health insurance than they should be allowed to get involved in how employees use their salaries.

But that, as Al pointed out, is not what’s happening. And reading through the comments as workplace wellness providers try to justify singling out fat employees for useless weight-loss “interventions” (instead of, much more sensibly, giving us ponies) was an exercise in frustration.

If you’re stuck in one of these workplace wellness nightmares, it’s important to remember that – thought it is becoming your problem, it is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you, or your body. There is plenty wrong with workplace wellness culture.

Activism Opportunity: Add your voice to the comments on Al’s post! 

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