Tell bosses: No comments about health costs.

Make sure all supervisors understand that it is never appropriate to question how much an employee's health problems might cost the organization. Also remind rank-and-file employees to keep comments about co-worker health to themselves.

Recent case: Jullee worked for over a decade for a county government. She developed several health problems. She had a series of strokes, a heart attack, heart valve surgery and arthritis, and took multiple medications that required her to go to the restroom frequently. Jullee sometimes took FMLA leave for treatment.

At some time during her last year with the county, a manager commented about how much money her medical treatments were costing the county.

Co-workers sometimes joked about hearing Jullee's artificial heart valve ticking. They said it sounded like she was carrying a bomb and complained that the noise was annoying. When she wore a heart monitor, some joked that she shouldn't get near the microwave. They also commented on her frequent bathroom usage. Someone called her a "bleeder" because...

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