February 9, 2012

NLRB, HIPAA, IBT and PepsiCo – Duking it out over Incentives

Ok, so maybe I got a little carried away with the abbreviations and initials, but it was so darned tempting!   The thing is, apparently the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) has now involved the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a dispute with PepsiCo over financial “penalties” being assigned to members based on health indicators – really a common practice today, right?   You smoke, you pay more; you are overweight, you pay more.   [Actually, it can really be that you just don’t get the discount for not smoking.]

But, as we see this, it will be important to watch.  Not just this particular situation in which PepsiCo apparently refused to release data (due to potential HIPAA privacy concerns) that would allow the Teamsters to “shop” for a new insurance plan, but what unions may or may not do in the future regarding the incentives.

Right now, the NLRB states it will issue a complaint against PepsiCo unless the data question is resolved between the two parties.   But, this (the NLRB action) has nothing to do with the actual financial incentives.   Further action on that may come from the Teamsters or any other union in the future as more and more companies employ this method for helping employees to achieve healthier lifestyles.   Stay tuned.

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