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Should Employers Insist Employees Make Healthy Food Choices? You Make The Call

A Fresno, California man visited the emergency room after experiencing bloody diarrhea and said he needed to be treated for parasites. The physician was skeptical until the man opened a bag and showed the physician a tapeworm that had exited the man's body. The man had the tapeworm wrapped around a toilet paper roll. The worm measured five feet, six inches.

The man had not traveled abroad or consumed well water, but he did eat raw salmon sashimi nearly every day. Consuming raw or undercooked fish, according to the CDC can result in tapeworm infections. These tapeworms, Diphyllobothrium latum, can grow up to 30 feet in length. Rachel Rettner "Surprise! California Man Finds Huge Tapeworm In His Gut" www.livescience.com (Jan. 19, 2018).

So, the question for our readers is: should employers insist employees make healthy food choices?

Please let us know what you think in the comment section or take the poll. Here are some opinions of some of the McCalmon editorial staff:

Jack McCalmon, Esq.

Employers should not insist employees make healthy food choices. They should never grant or deprive employment opportunities to employees based on food choices.

However, employers should promote healthy eating habits. Eating raw salmon sashimi every day is not a heathy eating habit. 

You are what you eat. So, eating healthy is important to any health and wellness effort.

Leslie Zieren, Esq.

Part of being a good employee is taking care of yourself so that you can do your job. There are many behaviors than can result in being unable to work: employees who habitually drink alcohol to excess and then call in "sick"; who take illegal drugs and call in "sick"; who refuse to get a flu shot and end up sick; or those who stay up all night playing video games and call in "sick." None of these employees are choosing healthy behaviors with their job, careers, or employer in mind. 

Should employers insist employees not eat sushi or gluten or sugar? Of course not, but you can keep track of repeated behaviors and excuses that create avoidable absences and counsel your employees about the issue.

You can provide a comment on what you would do or answer our poll. Please note any comments provided may be shared with others.  

Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey:

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Source: Department of Labor

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