Thursday, June 30, 2016
EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs
In mid-May, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) published final rules on employer wellness programs describing how the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers. According to some of the key provisions of the rules, employee wellness or health programs must be “reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease,” prohibiting measurements, tests, screening or information collection that does not lead to follow-up advice. In addition, the programs must be voluntary and while incentives may be offered for participation in a program, they cannot be so great as to be coercive. In accordance with principles of fair information practice, participants must receive in advance written notice describing in plain language what medical information will be collected, how it will be used and restrictions on its use. Finally, all information collected must be held confidentially and not provided to an employer in a form that would disclose the identity of particular individuals.