April 7, 2015

Speak now or forever hold your... stomach in at the office

Seriously, though, posted by request and very happily:
We are asking for letters describing negative experiences and outcomes related to corporate wellness programs and people with EDs of any type or stories from treatment providers describing the impact these programs have had on their practice.
Stories of:
  • Discrimination, 
  • Triggering 
  • Failure to inform or provide "Reasonable Alternative Standard” policies
  • Relapse
  • Any other harms

These stories will be aggregated and submitted to the Administration and/or the EEOC to help inform and strengthen the employee protections that are currently in jeopardy due to Senate bill 620, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act.  This bill proposes changes to existing employee protections that would allow employers to ask invasive medical history questions including those about mental health and genetics.  Also, it would allow businesses to penalize employees who choose not to participate in the programs with fines up to $4,000.

We need your help in flooding the EEOC and humanizing the reasons why invasive questioning, wellness programs based on weight metrics, Biggest Loser style competitions and punitive fines are a direct discrimination to the 15 million Americans with EDs – many of which are part of America’s workforce.

Please send your stories, or stories of how your practice has been impacted by these outcomes to Kathleen MacDonald at km@eatingdisorderscoalition.org or directly to Lizabeth Wesely-Casella at admin@bingebehaivior.com.

Thank you for your prompt attention and support in this activism.  Your stories matter!

-The EDC (Eating Disorders Coalition)
www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org

 a side note: I don't think these programs are just a risk to those predisposed to eating disorders but to ALL of us. These "wellness" programs are well-intentioned but ungrounded. The goal is health but the result is size discrimination, body shaming, health shaming, and of unknown value to health. Fining people for their health status and bullying them into behaviors isn't promoting health. It will lead to people doing unhealthy things and lead to people losing or leaving jobs.

Those of us familiar with eating disorders know the risks of these pressured and unprofessional situations but there is a harm to society when employers become health police and co-workers become spies and competitors in issues not relating to work.

We can create healthier workplaces without punitive, discriminatory, ill-considered initiatives like this.



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