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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
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None of Your Business, Worker Tells CVS

OAKLAND (CN) - CVS pharmacy makes employees take a "Wellness Exam," which includes questions on whether they are sexually active and blood work to see if they are at risk for "a variety of medical conditions," a woman claims in a class action in state court.

Roberta Watterson, a cashier, sued the Garfield Beach CVS in Alameda County Court.

Watterson claims her employer required her to take a "Wellness Exam" at either a CVS "Minute Clinic" or at a doctor of her choice. Employees who did not take the exam faced a $600 annual fine, deducted from their paycheck, she says.

"During the 'Wellness Exam,' a doctor performs blood work, which, upon information and belief, is utilized by defendants to 'flag' employees who are at risk for a variety of medical conditions," the complaint states.

In addition to the exam, which Watterson says she had to pay for, CVS made her fill out a survey that asked personal questions such as weight, body fat percentage, whether she drinks or smokes and is sexually active. The survey was "required in lieu of a $600 fine," according to the lawsuit.

Watterson says she chose to visit her own doctor for the wellness exam for a $25 co-pay. "Her other option was to undergo the Wellness Exam at a CVS Minute Clinic, and incur an expense of $125," the complaint states.

"Defendants did not indemnify plaintiff for expenses she incurred for the Wellness Exam," the complaint adds. "Defendants did not indemnify plaintiff for mileage/gasoline expenses she incurred attending an off-site physician. Defendants did not compensate plaintiff for the time she spent attending the Wellness Exam, despite the fact that it was required of her in lieu of a $600 fine. Further, defendants did not compensate plaintiff for the time she spent filling out the survey."

Watterson claims these practices are companywide.

She seeks class certification and damages for failure to pay hourly and overtime wages, failure to indemnify, illegal wage deductions, failure to provide accurate wage statements and unfair competition.

Watterson is represented by Shaun Setareh, of Beverly Hills.

In April 2012 Judge John J. McConnell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island approved a $34 million settlement of an overtime pay class action against CVS. The settlement stemmed from multiple lawsuits that claimed CVS misclassified assistant store managers as exempt from overtime.

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