CVS Caremark’s employee wellness ‘stick’ revisited–in court (US)

Exactly a year ago, retail drug store/onsite clinic/PBM giant CVS Caremark unveiled its ‘big stick’ approach to employee wellness–if you are in their health plan, you must participate in their ‘voluntary’ health screenings and management program or be charged $50 per month. One employee is now suing about this in Alameda County (Oakland/San Francisco, California area) Court.

According to the Courthouse News Service, the complaint states that “During the ‘Wellness Exam,’ a doctor performs blood work, which, upon information and belief, is utilized by defendants to ‘flag’ employees who are at risk for a variety of medical conditions.” Also from CNS, “In addition to the exam, which Watterson says she had to pay for, CVS made her fill out a survey that asked personal questions such as weight, body fat percentage, whether she drinks or smokes and is sexually active. The survey was “required in lieu of a $600 fine,” according to the lawsuit.” (Editor’s emphasis) If she had the exam in-house–at a CVS MinuteClinic–it also would have cost her $125 out of pocket, so she went to a private physician who charged her the co-pay, $25. She’s seeking compensation for “class certification and damages for failure to pay hourly and overtime wages, failure to indemnify, illegal wage deductions, failure to provide accurate wage statements and unfair competition.” 

All of which was easily predictable that CVS Caremark would be asking these questions, as they are fairly standard in a health workup –but is the ‘cross the line’ part (and what most of the dither may be about) the last item noted?  (more…)