Can my employer force me to participate in a health fair?

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Can my employer force me to participate in a health fair?

Mandatory attendance is required at a health fair where cholesterol, BMI, blood pressure, etc will be checked. Is this legal?

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Employers have considerable freedom to set the terms and conditions of employment. One thing they can do is require participation in a health fair, like the one you describe. However, there are limitations on what can happen next:

1) Much medical or heath-related information must be kept confidential and can't be improperly disclosed, so they have to make sure that the data is not publically posted in some way.

2) Employers can't discriminate on the basis of disabilty, so if the health fair reveals a disability of some sort or another, the company may generally not take any employment action on that basis (there are some exceptions, if the disability affects safety greatly, or if letting the person with the disabilty to the job would be too great a cost or disruption).


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