The Chicago Tribune writes about Mayor Emanuel's workplace wellness initiative that aims to save taxpayer's money and public employers' health care premiums. The initiative will consist of annual health screenings and weight loss programs in an an effort to curb conditions such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. ACLU of Illinois' Executive Director Colleen Connell spoke with the Tribune about the concerns that arise about the initiative's privacy protection for city worker's health records.
While city of Chicago officials also stress that privacy will be protected, ACLU of Illinois Director Colleen Connell said it's not yet clear how extensive the city's privacy protections will be.
Connell said that employers have a legitimate interest in maintaining healthy workforces but that the consequences of noncompliance with wellness programs need to be spelled out.
"Does my noncompliance get reported in my health profile? Does it get sent to the a supervisor? Or the benefits person at the city?" Connell said. "It raises all of the concerns people have about medical privacy."