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Apr 17, 2015

By Eric B. Meyer

More eagerly anticipated that the premiere of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission yesterday released its proposed new rules on wellness programs.

If you want to have an employee wellness program that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, here are five (5) things the EEOC wants you to do: 

Five key takeaways

  1. No discrimination allowed. That means, employers may not interfere with an employee’s ADA rights, or threaten, intimidate, or coerce an employee for refusing to participate in a wellness program or for failing to achieve certain health outcomes.
  2. Volunteers only. Employers cannot require employees to participate, or discipline or deny health coverage to employees who do not participate.
  3. Reasonable accommodation rules apply. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities to allow them to participate in wellness programs and to earn the same incentives as other non-disabled employees.
  4. Confidentiality. An employee wellness program can include medical examinations or questions about employees’ health. However, if medical information is collected, the employee wellness program must promote health or prevent disease. Plus, employers may only view medical information in aggregate form, and it must be kept confidential.
  5. Incentive limits. Employers may offer incentives of up to 30 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage in connection with wellness programs.

More detailed information

For more on the EEOC’s proposed rules on employee wellness programs, check out these links:

Members of the public have 60 days from that date (or until Friday, June 19) to submit comments.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.