I received a piece of mail today that I found insulting: my employer has hired an outside agency to determine if my son is my son.
Actually and technically, since my wife and I both work in the same company and the insurance is in her name, the letter was to my wife and was to verify that I am her husband and that our son is ours.
Riddled with corporate speak, this letter basically says that they don’t trust that everyone listed as a dependent–myself and my son–on my wife’s insurance is actually a dependent and that they want to make sure they aren’t paying for what they don’t have to be. Apparently, this is a company-wide initiative.
While I have no problem with companies verifying that there is no fraud occurring in their organization, I have multiple reasons to be upset with this letter.
First, in order to verify our status, this third party organization that I am not associated with in any way is demanding a copy of my marriage license, tax return with both our names on it, and my son’s birth certificate. If I don’t provide it to them in 2 weeks, we’ll lose our health insurance.
I’m not a low level corporate stooge. My wife and I were professionally recruited to this organization. We were interviewed by CEOs and COOs. The in-house recruiter helped find a school for my son. I have meetings regularly with my office manager, the regional manager, and the COO. The idea that this small family, 2/3’s of whom are salaried employees of the company, cannot be locally verified is ridiculous.
Also, there’s no reason that every employee shouldn’t be granted the same respect and it would not be difficult to do as I’ll explain later.
Second, our organization is infested with managers. It would take very little effort to have us present the same documentation to our local managers, who could feed this up the food chain. It’s the same way they verify we all get our yearly flu shots or have maintained our licenses. This way, the private information remains local and within the organization I work for and the money that the organization is paying out would be saved. At a time when the organization is performing mass lay offs and crying about how they are losing money, I cannot believe they are wasting money like this.
Finally, given the nature of my work, I cannot just quit if I don’t like the policy. I must give 6 months notice of termination. So, if I don’t give them this information, at the best, I would give up my employee health insurance, which is a part of my compensation package. I’m not sure if this would qualify as breach of contract on their part, and I don’t want to be a trouble maker and fight to find out.
What I do know: my resignation letter will be on my manager’s desk Monday morning.
Sadly, that will not be because of a sudden, principled stand against this issue. Less dramatically, I’ve been contemplating leaving for some time due to other issues like this.
I am taking this as a lesson for when I am the boss and hopefully treat my employees with more respect.