Arizona Employers Want to Ask Employees About Sex Lives, Contraceptives

Arizona Employers Want to Ask Employees About Sex Lives, Contraceptives

I sometimes comment that Florida is the center of weirdness in the universe, and that point is hard to refute when we house face-eating zombies and giant anacondas. However, Arizona keeps trying to give us a run for our money on the weirdometer. Arizona legislators proposed a bill recently that would allow employers, if they so choose, to require female employees to provide proof that they weren't using contraceptives for purposes of, erm, sex.

That's not quite what actually passed and got signed, but Arizona now has a law that allows employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for birth control pills that aren't issued for medical reasons.

Rep. Debbie Lesko's version wanted to provide an exemption for any employer who claimed religious beliefs or moral objections to contraceptives. The final version narrowed this exemption to any entity whose articles of incorporation "clearly state that it is a religiously motivated organization and whose religious beliefs are central to the organization's operating principles."

The original version also let employers mandate the employee provide proof to them, but the signed version apparently only allows insurance companies to collect the proof of medical necessity.

I won't even research what Arizona is saying about insurance coverage of Viagra.  If any of my faithful readers know, I'd be curious. I'm willing to bet that men don't have to jump through the same hoops as women. But maybe I'm being overly pessimistic.

I can think of quite a few problems employers who do ask about employee contraceptives might run into. Sex discrimination, sexual stereotyping, privacy issues, HIPAA violations, disability discrimination - the list goes on. It will be interesting to watch what happens with this very weird law.

See more employment law posts on Donna Ballman's blog, Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home

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