EEOC Unveils Its Proposed New Rules For Wellness Programs

From the HR blog on TLNT: workplace wellness
From the HR blog on TLNT: workplace wellness. Photo illustration by Dreamstime.

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:

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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.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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