Last week, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describing how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. It offers “guidance to both employers and employees about how wellness programs offered as part of an employer’s group health plan can comply with the ADA consistent with provisions governing wellness programs in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act.”

This is a proposed rule. Members of the public have 60 days (or until Friday, June 19) to submit comments.

EEOC Press release

Fact Sheet for Small Business

Questions & Answers

More information

EEOC Issues Proposed Wellness Program Amendments to ADA Regulations
The National Law Review: “The proposed rule clarifies that an employer may offer limited incentives up to a maximum of 30 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage, whether in the form of a reward or penalty, to promote an employee’s participation in a wellness program that includes disability-related inquiries or biometric examinations as long as participation is voluntary. It is significant that the proposed rule does authorize penalties as the EEOC’s litigations and an EEOC official’s statements had seemed particularly critical of penalties, even though they may have exactly the same economic impact to an employee as a reward.”

EEOC Issues Rules for Employee Wellness Program Incentives
Alex Wayne, Insurance Journal: “”Under Thursday’s proposed rules, employers would not be allowed to threaten or otherwise coerce workers to participate, other than by using financial rewards and penalties. Companies couldn’t punish workers with disciplinary measures such as suspension or firing if they opt out.”

Revealed! The EEOC’s new proposed wellness program rules
Employment Law Attorney and blogger Eric B. Meyer offers five key takeaways for employer

Business relieved at EEOC wellness guidance
Dan Cook, Benefits Pro

EEOC Publishes Major Rule on Wellness Incentives
Occupational Health & Safety

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