Tobacco Surcharge Wage Deduction Investigation


Stueve Siegel Hanson, a national leader in wage and hour and employee rights litigation, is investigating potential claims against employers who deduct additional health insurance premiums, fees, or surcharges for tobacco users. This is effectively a penalty for tobacco use. Complete a contact form or continue reading to learn more about our firm's tobacco surcharge wage deduction investigation.

Employers and health insurers may charge additional premiums for tobacco use, but only if they meet certain requirements.  One requirement is that the employer must provide a “reasonable alternative standard” to simply not being a tobacco user that offers the “full reward” of the wellness program.  In other words, employers and health insurers must give tobacco users a way to avoid the tobacco surcharge other than not smoking.  And they must provide “notice” of the reasonable alternative standard in all plan documents discussing the extra tobacco surcharge.  An example of a reasonable alternative standard would be a company sponsored tobacco cessation program for tobacco users to complete to avoid the surcharge (even if the program does not result in the employee ceasing tobacco use).

If you have questions about your employer’s tobacco surcharge, please fill out a contact us form here or call 866.714.0880.

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