Insurance reps, accountants and attorneys who champion corporate wellness are champions in their own right. They give companies a reason, which is more a matter of moral justice than a mandate from our judicial system, to create—and popularize—a program that empowers workers by educating them about how to live healthier lives, in and outside the workplace.
By immersing themselves in this process, reps prove that corporate wellness is a catchall for involvement by a multitude of professionals, from doctors and nurses to nutritionists and naturopathic physicians, from athletes and attorneys, too. The process itself allows companies to ensure their standards comply with the law while giving their employees the information necessary to succeed.
According to Wayne R. Cohen, a professor at The George Washington University School of Law and a partner at Cohen & Cohen, P.C., attorneys are (to a degree) unofficial wellness counselors. He says:
To counsel is to not only advise but to advocate on behalf of a client for whom your insight can provide much-needed peace of mind. Transferring that skill from the courtroom to the boardroom, so a lawyer can collaborate with a company and better complement a wellness plan, benefits everyone. The more inclusive this dialogue is, the more effective companies will be.
As a non-practicing attorney, who also happens to write about insurance, investments and the importance of corporate wellness, I applaud Cohen’s analysis. If anything, we need more reps to educate workers about their rights—and we will always need attorneys to confirm companies do the right thing. An attorney or rep who reviews a wellness plan is, therefore, someone who advances the legal health of a business as much as he accelerates the pace of change among all businesses; he is an agent of change, whose expertise does more to align a plan with the law than it would do so without him; whose goal, regardless of which side he represents, is to verify a company is in the right by honoring the rights of its employees.
This approach is proactive because it establishes a precedent for executives to follow and workers to emulate. It broadens the definition of what it means for a company itself to initiate—in words and deeds—policies that can lower medical and insurance costs, increase productivity, and improve morale between management and labor.
Let us welcome the development of this newest chapter in an ongoing report about health and innovation.
Let us do so with respect for the integrity of corporate wellness and the safety of workers nationwide.