Companies Want to Disclose Employee Health Data to Shareholders, and It’s a Bad Idea

Companies Want to Disclose Employee Health Data to Shareholders, and It’s a Bad Idea

By Fouad Bendris

A working group whose members include Humana, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, PepsiCo, Unilever, and South African insurer Discovery recently proposed that publicly traded corporations provide an overview on the health of their workforces in their various forms of public disclosure, including annual reports, 10-Ks, and sustainability reports.

Disclosures would include metrics collected through both screens (e.g., of weight, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, nicotine) and self-reporting of a variety of conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol consumption, eating habits). Other indicators of health — sleep, medication adherence, and exercise — could presumably be collected either through monitoring or self-reporting.

Fouad Bendris’s insight:
Discrimination and privacy. Assume for a minute that the study showing that companies with wellness programs outperform the stock market is correct. That would mean portfolio managers would drive up the prices of companies with a low percentage of overweight employees …

Source:: Strategy & Governance

Share the Post

About the Author

Comments

Comments are closed.