New EEOC rules announced for employment wellness

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released new rules for incentivizing workers who choose to participate in workplace wellness programs, the agency announced on April 16.

The EEOC said employers can reward their employees through up to 30% of health insurance premiums if they participate in wellness programs, such as weight and cholesterol management. To reconcile possible conflicts between the rules and employment discrimination laws under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the EEOC stated that wellness programs should not be designed to discriminate based on disability. EEOC’s rules also stressed that employers are strongly prohibited from threatening or intimidating workers to participate, nor may they sanction employees with disciplinary action like suspension or termination.

At WorkSTEPS, we can help you pursue a healthier workplace through our series of supplemental wellness programs. To learn more about how we can help you achieve a healthier, more productive workplace, call us at (512) 617-4100 today.

Avoiding back pain while behind the computer

Employees who are required to perform tasks 8 hours a day or more at a desk behind a computer are prone to back pain. In fact, a study conducted by the Cornell University revealed that wrong posture when using a computer at work causes four out of five people to suffer from back pain.

Here are some tips you might want to consider to reduce your risk of back pain while working at a desk:

  • By moving the mouse closer to the keyboard, you avoid straining your arms and your back.
  • Choose an ergonomically-friendly chair and place so that your torso is an arm’s length away from your monitor
  • Be mindful of your posture: your head and neck should align right above your shoulders, feet flat on the floor and relaxed to avoid muscle tension
  • Take occasional breaks. Stretching your back and flexing your muscles may help relieve tension

As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your employees have the capacity to meet the physical demands their job entails. You can do this by implementing scientific, safe, and legally compliant fit-for-duty testing for candidate and returning workers. We at WorkSTEPS are more than willing to be of help. Call us at (512) 617-4100 to learn more about our services.

Managing morning sickness for pregnant women at work

Morning sickness is a natural occurrence common in most pregnancies. Pregnant women may feel nauseous particularly during the early hours of the day. For women who are at work during the course of their pregnancy, morning sickness usually hits them during the workday.

As an employer or a manager, it is important for you to know how you might best maintain a safe, conducive work environment for your pregnant employees. You may want to consider arranging a flexible work schedule to help her deal with morning sickness more easily. Job reassignments should also be considered if her current position may greatly compromise her safety and/or may significantly affect productivity.

At WorkSTEPS, we help employers and managers arrange onsite pre- and post-natal wellness programs that would help you keep pregnant employees safe and healthy while on duty. To learn more about how we can help your business boost productivity while ensuring safety, call us at (512) 617-4100 today.