Frank C. Morris, Jr., a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employee Benefits practices, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s Pension & Benefits Daily, in “Cigarette? No Thanks, I’ll Take the Extra Vacation Days Instead,” by Jacklyn Wille.

This article was also prominently featured in the AHIP Wellness Smartbrief newsletter, on November 14, 2017.

Following is an excerpt:

Frank C. Morris Jr., a Washington-based member of Epstein Becker Green who specializes in employee benefits, agreed that such a policy likely wouldn’t fall under the wellness program rules.

“I wouldn’t call this a wellness program, because I don’t think it has anything to do with wellness,” Morris told Bloomberg Law. “It’s a fairness program, is what I would call it…”

A final, important consideration for any company considering a program like this is whether it’s likely to lead to good outcomes, either for the company’s workforce or its bottom line.

Morris expressed doubt that such a program would benefit either a company or its workers, because it doesn’t give smokers any significant tools to kick their habit.

“The employee doesn’t get healthier, the employer doesn’t see the benefits of a healthier workforce, and money has been spent in what’s essentially a lose-lose situation, except for maybe from the perspective of equalizing things among smokers and non-smokers,” he said.

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