Wellness Program Regulations are Under Review
In May 2016, the EEOC finalized the regulations relating to employer-sponsored wellness programs and reconciled conflicting aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act as related to wellness programs. Shortly thereafter, the AARP sued the EEOC seeking a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of the wellness program regulations. AARP contends that the incentives employers are allowed to provide through wellness programs, under the EEOC’s regulations, amount of coercion and put workers at a risk of discrimination.
While the court did not grant the preliminary injunction, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directed the EEOC to reconsider its wellness program regulations. For now, employers must still continue following the EEOC regulations relating to wellness programs, but employers sponsoring wellness programs should continue to carefully monitor for any future guidance from the EEOC or decisions from the court. Ultimately, the court’s upcoming decision could require substantive changes to many employer-sponsored wellness programs.
AARP v. EEOC, No. 16-2113 (D.D.C. Aug. 22, 2017)