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Running head:HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS VERSUS PRIVACY 1
HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS VERSUS PRIVACY6
Health Insurance Costs Versus Privacy
In the current case, the owners of Computers by Design (CBD) have decided to restructure the entity due to concerns about rising healthcare insurance costs. This follows the findings indicating the organization could manage insurance costs by recruiting persons who are not likely to make claims. Towards attaining the goal, the organization set out to hire healthy, fit, and non-addicts. Abigail Megan, the researcher, proposed two major steps to achieve the companys objective. In the first place, CBD would screen prospective employees. This would also cover voluntary genetic tests. The company indicated its intention not to hire users of non-prescription drugs and tobacco. In addition, employees were to be subjected to fitness and weight control programs. The company also promised to offer free professional assistance to employees who are ready to drop smoking and using other addictive drugs. Only employees who met the new demands would be allowed to continue working. As indicated, those who refused were to be discharged upon receiving a severance package.
Historically, drug usage is linked to safety when driving or using machines. Hence, an employer is under an obligation to link drug consumption to safety issues or machine usage at the workplace. It should also be noted that consuming even illegal drugs does not give an employer the right to dismiss the worker involved. For an employer to dismiss a worker, there must be a proof of safety concerns arising out of drug consumption.
The three legal issues that emerge include unfair dismissal, discrimination, and economic sabotage. If an employee is dismissed on grounds of consuming tobacco or other non-prescribed drugs, discrimination would have occurred. However, it would remain legal for the organization to restrict the consumption of drugs. In such a case, the organization can impose a requirement that no employee consumes drugs at the workplace or when coming to work. In this case, an employee may be required to face medical examination and if he/she fails, disciplinary action including dismissal may be taken. However, issues bordering on infringement of human rights would emerge as major concerns for the company.
When an employee is dismissed on grounds of consuming non-prescribed substances, questions of unfair dismissal are likely to emerge. Unfair dismissal occurs when an employer wrongfully dismisses a worker. In practice, employers cite their grounds for dismissal including misconduct and non-cooperativeness on the part of an employee. However, such concerns can be contested by employees or unions on grounds of unfair treatment and violation of human or worker rights.
The issue of economic sabotage is slightly different from the other two issues. Economic sabotage reflects actions that hinder economic growth and development. It should be noted that drugs are manufactured by various entities. Such entities are taxpayers, who contribute significantly to economic growth and development. Similarly, the entities employ workers who contribute to their development. Denying employees who use such drugs a chance to work amounts to condemning or undermining the production of drugs. Consequently, producers of drugs would be justified to accuse employers of economic sabotage for taking disciplinary actions on employees for consuming the drugs.
Notice, privacy, informed consent and selection are other legal issues that emerge. In this case, the employer has given a notice to the employees about new requirements in advance. However, the employers would have to agree to the terms before undergoing testing. Hence, employers who are testing employees would have acted having obtained an informed consent. Under the selection legal concern, employers must show reasonable grounds for conducting such tests. In my assessment, the employer has not shown reasonable and sufficient grounds to do so with drug-taking employees and conduct tests. This is based on the authors observation, the Massachusetts right of privacy statute provides that [a] person shall have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with his privacy. To constitute an invasion of privacy, the invasion must be both unreasonable and serious or substantial. French alleges that UPS violated his right to privacy by: (a) insisting that he disclose details concerning an incident that occurred during off-work hours at his home; (b) repeatedly contacting his mental health providers without his consent; and (c) penalizing him in the form of involuntary leave and demotion for the incident.
In the first step, the issue of health screening and genetic testing is likely to attract a huge outcry. This, and the possibility of refusing to hire drug takers or physically unfit people, is illegal. All requirements in the first case fail the legal requirements because they border on discrimination on health grounds. The second step involving a 12-month notice to quit using drugs and submit to random tests would be illegal. This is because employees have rights which include the choice to consume any product so long as it is not illegal. Thus, the employer would be stepping on the rights of the employees by demanding that they quit smoking or taking non-prescriptive drugs. The second aspect concerning professional assistance has no legal obstacles. It is within the rights of the employer to extend such services. Since these services do not cause any harm, no legal hurdle would be encountered. The contemplation of dismissing employees who do not meet the new requirements would be illegal based on contestations bordering on discrimination and unfair dismissal.
The healthcare industry is one of the industries that have high levels of unionization. Healthcare unions endeavor to secure good working conditions for their members, just as is the case among other unions. The healthcare industry has both unionized and non-unionized members. Unionization is high in the industry since it realizes the value of collective bargaining. In the current state, healthcare is undergoing a transformation where the private sector seems to be taking control. Similarly, unemployment levels have risen. This has given powers to the owners of health facilities. This is likely to diminish the role of collective bargaining, since the labor force supply may outstrip the demand. Despite the projected fall in unionization, the increase in awareness among healthcare professionals on their legal rights implies that the healthcare employers would continue facing close scrutiny.
Within organizations, finance managers play critical roles. For instance, they consider business functions to decide how to source and allocate resources. A finance manager is in charge of managing an organizations finances. In discharging duties, a financial manager must understand the entirety of business operations. After establishing that a financial manager is in charge of sourcing and allocating resources, the onus falls on the manger to look for resources to allocate to the Occupational Safety and Health department within the organization. It is notable that even with good intentions, without adequate resources no considerable achievements can be made.
First line managers are charged with immense responsibilities. The Occupational Safety and Health department has a key role to play within an organization. Line managers are required to monitor and inform the top management about any emerging issues within the organization. Line managers should also challenge senior management when it comes to critical questions at the organization. Line managers also have a responsibility to supervise junior staff. In this regard, the line managers should consider the opinions of the junior staff and pass it to the senior management. The most important thing is that line managers are required to ensure a safe working environment for all employees.
The primary role of a human resource manager is to maintain and promote the organizations workers. This is achieved through planning, assessing employee relations, implementing human resource policies, practices and programs. Human resource should also ensure that workers are motivated so that they work hard towards attaining organizational goals. To achieve such goals, a human resource manager must ensure the working environment is conducive.