Penn State Eliminates Fines for Employees Who Skip Wellness Questions

Pennsylvania State University has dropped a controversial plan to levy a $1,200 annual fine on employees who fail to answer health-related questions that many faculty members called too invasive.

A professor on the university’s Harrisburg campus who had been one of the plan’s most vocal opponents said eliminating the fine had alleviated faculty members’ biggest concerns.

At issue was an online questionnaire the university unveiled in July as part of a new wellness plan. The plan was aimed at cutting the institution’s health-care costs, which have risen by 20 percent over the last two years, to more than $217-million in the 2013-14 academic year.

Among other questions, the online survey asked employees about their plans to become pregnant, about how frequently they drank too much alcohol, and about whether they had experienced problems with violence, depression, or a divorce or separation. <Read more.>

Via Robin Wilson, The Chronicle of Higher Education.