The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it will issue much anticipated guidance that revises its nondiscrimination rules for wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act. The two sets of proposed regulations replace rules that the EEOC withdrew in 2018 after a federal district court invalidated key provisions on incentive limits on the grounds that the EEOC had not appropriately justified the limits that it set. The EEOC’s position on incentives for wellness programs is front and center in the vaccines discussion.
The new ADA proposed regulations govern programs of health promotion and disease prevention that include making inquiries into an individual’s health or providing for medical examinations. They retain various rules from the prior regulations — such as coverage under an employer’s health plan may not be conditioned on participation in the wellness program – but they also make significant changes. Under GINA, the new proposed rules change course in that they do not provide an exception for a spouse’s participation, allowing only de minimis incentives for participation by spouses and children. The new rules also retain a number of provisions from the earlier regulations, including the requirement to obtain appropriate authorization from the spouse before the spouse provides information.
To read more about this decision, see the Alert issued by our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group.