Moving in the Right Direction
Addressing liability concerns related to workplace physical activity programs for low-wage workers
As rates of chronic diseases rise, employers are increasingly looking to Workplace Wellness Programs as a means to reduce health care costs and improve employee productivity.
Although low-wage workers in California could benefit greatly from Workplace Wellness Programs, they face significant barriers to participation. Employers must ensure that Workplace Wellness Programs are accessible for all workers. Accessibility is particularly critical for low-wage workers who are more likely to face the chronic health problems the programs aim to address. Employers who consciously consider the needs and concerns of low-wage employees in the design, implementation, and evaluation of Workplace Wellness Programs can more effectively improve health and reduce health care costs for all employees.
Employers considering Workplace Wellness Programs as a way to improve employee health and reduce costs may have concerns about potential liability. ChangeLab Solutions developed this fact sheet in collaboration with the Network for a Healthy California Champions for Change to provide an overview of California law on employer liability for employee injury. It focuses on low-wage workers and the potential liability issues associated with the physical activity components of Workplace Wellness Programs.