OMA Connections Partner, Frantz Ward, reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations regarding employers’ use of wellness programs. Such programs seek to promote healthy behavior by employees, often through financial incentives such as reduced healthcare benefits premiums or reduced gym membership costs. However, the legality of wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been uncertain.
Before these new regulations, the EEOC had been taking the position that many wellness programs violated the ADA because the financial incentives associated with those programs essentially discriminate against those with disabilities.
Under the new regulations, the EEOC has set limitations on the financial incentives employers may provide for participation in wellness programs.
These regulations are slated to apply to any wellness programs that run in conjunction with health plans that begin on or after January 1, 2017. Read more from Frantz Ward.