We have written on several occasions about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) proposed rules on wellness programs, and the extent to which employer-sponsored wellness plans must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The new rules were finalized in May 2016 and state that employers may offer limited financial and other incentives to employees to participate in wellness programs.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued proposed rules regarding the extent to which employers may offer inducements for providing information about the current or past health status of an employee’s spouse without violating the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”).
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued proposed rules (“ADA Proposed Rules”) on the extent to which employers may offer incentives to promote participation in wellness programs without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The ADA Proposed Rules apply if a wellness program includes disability-related inquiries or medical examinations, including inquiries or examinations that are part of a health risk assessment. Health risk assessments are reported to be the most common form of incentivized employee wellness programs.1 Thus, many employers would likely be impacted by these new rules if finalized.
On August 20, 2012, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Seff v. Broward County, finding that premium surcharge imposed under Broward County’s employee wellness program did not violate the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) because it was part of a bona fide benefit plan.
As the 2013 open enrollment season approaches, group health plan sponsors are trying to hold down health care costs. Implementing a wellness program may be part of that effort. The difficulty lies in designing a program that promotes wellness without running afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
On May 31, 2023, the California Senate passed Senate Bill (“SB”) 553 creating new workplace violence prevention standards in California. Under the Bill, employers are mandated to develop and maintain written prevention plans tailored to their specific workplaces. The Bill is next set to go through policy committees in the State Assembly. If approved by the Assembly and signed into law by the governor, the measure would likely go into effect next year. However, several policymakers have expressed concern regarding the effect of the Bill as written; thus, it is far from assured that the legislation will be approved without changes.Continue Reading California Senate Bill 533 Mandates That Employers Create Workplace Violence Prevention Programs
Assembly Bill 1651 or the Workplace Technology Accountability Act, a new bill proposed by California Assembly Member Ash Kalra, would regulate employers, and their vendors, regarding the use of employee data. Under the bill, data is defined as “any information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular worker, regardless of how the information is collected, inferred, or obtained.” Examples of data include personal identity information; biometric information; health, medical, lifestyle, and wellness information; any data related to workplace activities; and online information. The bill confers certain data rights on employees, including the right to access and correct their data.
Covid-19 has left employers who want their employees back in the office in a difficult position. With the pandemic still raging, many employees are fearful of returning to the office with unvaccinated peers. In order to ease their employees’ concerns and provide a safe work environment, some employers are offering incentives to get vaccinated. Some existing vaccine incentives include gift cards, time off after receiving the second dose, pay for the time spent getting the vaccine, or bonuses ranging from $75 to $500. Although offering vaccine incentives may seem like a solution at this time, employers should be mindful of the legal ramifications of providing their employees with incentives for receiving the vaccine.
A New York Appellate decision issued last week—finding that firing an employee for being sexually attractive states a claim for gender discrimination—exemplifies the broad interpretation of discrimination laws in recent years.
Plaintiff Dilek Edwards worked as a yoga instructor and massage therapist for a Manhattan-based chiropractor and wellness center owned and operated by a married couple. Edwards maintains that she was regularly praised for her performance and maintained a “purely professional” relationship with the husband-owner.
Although the employer shared responsibility (“coverage mandate”) rules under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) have been delayed one year (to 2015), there are a number of other PPACA requirements that will still be going into effect in 2014. For example, the one-year delay does not apply to –
- The final wellness rules;
- The 90-day waiting period limits;
- The preventive care changes; and
- The new cost sharing limits
Plus, employers will soon need to focus again on the coverage mandate compliance process and the related reporting requirements (the initial reports for which will be due in early 2015). In the meantime, the government continues to issue regulations and other guidance on a variety of matters involving PPACA’s implementation.