EEOC

EEOC Update – Wellness

As you may recall, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had not clarified its position on employer-sponsored wellness programs. In fact, several lawsuits were filed by the EEOC against employer-sponsored wellness programs (e.g., the Honeywell suit). The pushback was based on the Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). On October 29, 2015 the EEOC issued proposed rules which would amend Title II of GINA as they relate to wellness programs that are part of health plans. Comments on the proposed rules were accepted through the end of 2015. In short, the proposed amendments to GINA are favorable and show that the EEOC does not want to be an impediment to wellness programs. The following changes, in part, are proposed to GINA: A key proposed change in GINA involves incentivized wellness programs. The changes would Read More

EEOC Final Rules Validate Wellness Programs (Eff. 1-1-17)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued final rules that clarify the application of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to employer sponsored wellness programs. These rules were put in place to define what constitutes a “voluntary” health program, and determine the extent to which employers may offer incentives to employees and spouses participating in these programs. These rules do not countermand the Department of Labor (DOL) and/or Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations regarding Health-Contingent Wellness Incentives (i.e. “reasonable alternative standards” and required annual screening opportunities). General Considerations: Title I of the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability, and restricts employers from routinely obtaining medical information from applicants and employees. However, Title I does allow employers to make inquiries Read More

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