EEOC Issues Proposed Rule For Wellness Programs

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EEOC Issues Proposed Rule For Wellness Programs

In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a much-anticipated proposed rule that describes how the ADA applies to employee wellness programs that include questions about employees’ health or require medical examinations.

The EEOC’s proposed rule would establish the following parameters for permissible wellness program designs under the ADA:

  • Must have a reasonable design and must promote health or help prevent disease
  • Must be voluntary; employees may not be required to participate, denied health insurance or given reduced benefits, or disciplined for not participating
  • Must give employee notice describing what medical information will be collected, who will receive it and how the information will be used and kept confidential
  • Must have limited incentives: 30 percent of employee-only coverage; 50 percent for tobacco cessation (if biometric screening, then incentive is limited to 30 percent)
  • Must be confidential; protect medical information obtained as part of the program
  • Must provide reasonable accommodations to enable employees with disabilities to participate and earn incentives offered by the employer

The EEOC provided a fact sheet and a set of questions and answers to help employers understand the proposed guidance.

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