EEOC Issues Sample Notice for Employers Offering Wellness Programs
Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final rules on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness programs that are part of a group health plan. The rules apply prospectively to workplace wellness programs beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
Under the new rules, employers are required to provide employees with a notice that describes what medical information will be collected as part of the wellness program; with whom it will be shared; how it will be used; and how it will be kept confidential.
The EEOC has now made a sample notice available. The notice requirement takes effect on the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. An employee must receive the notice before he/she provides any health information and with enough time to decide whether to participate in the program.
If the wellness program provides the notice, the employer must still ensure that their employees receive it.
A question-and-answer document describing the notice requirement and how to use the sample notice is also available.
According to the EEOC, employer wellness programs that ask employees about their medical conditions or that ask employees to take medical examinations (such as tests to detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes) must ensure that these programs are reasonably designed to promote health and prevent disease, that they are voluntary, and that employee medical information is kept confidential.
Limited financial and other incentives are permitted as part of voluntary wellness programs under the rule. However, employers may not require employees to participate in a wellness program; may not deny or limit their health coverage for non-participation; may not retaliate against or interfere with any employee who does not want to participate; and may not coerce, threaten, intimidate or harass anyone into participating.
Source: Cal/Chamber | 2016 © Copyright Payroll Masters
Payroll Masters is not a licensed insurance broker or agent and does not provide professional or legal advice. This document has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please contact your employment attorney in connection with any fact-specific situation in which you intend to take significant employment action. Readers agree that they will hold Payroll Masters in indemnity and Payroll Masters assumes no liability. Payroll Masters is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting services. Therefore, Payroll Masters assumes no responsibility for claims arising from the use or implementation of the above information.