New EEOC Regulations Impact Employee Wellness Programs

New EEOC Regulations Impact Employee Wellness Programs

On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is set to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that describes how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employee wellness programs that are part of group health plans. The new NPRM is designed to clarify what is and is not acceptable when questioning employees about their health, such as questions on health risk assessments, or requiring medical examinations, such as screening for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or blood glucose levels. It also establishes other important guidelines regarding the establishment and intentions of employee wellness programs and how they interact with health insurance coverage and policies. These changes could effect many employers’ and staffing firms’ employee benefits liability exposures.

Employee or workplace wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular in American workplaces. Some companies may offer incentives of up to 30% off the total cost of employee-only coverage in connection with wellness programs. Often these programs can include medical examinations or questions about employees’ health, such as questions on a health risk assessment.While employee wellness programs are permitted under the ADA, they may not be used to discriminate based on any disability. According to the NPRM, any information sought and obtained by an employer for a wellness program must be reasonably likely to promote health or preventing disease. Furthermore, the EEOC states that employees may not be required to participate in a wellness program, nor may they be denied health coverage or suffer disciplinary action if they refuse to participate.

Before establishing a workplace wellness program, there are many factors to consider, including the liability exposures and business insurance implications. World Wide Specialty Programs has developed an intimate understanding of the staffing industry and the risks temporary staffing firms face through the course of their operation. As a result, we have developed a host of business insurance solutions that address the ever evolving needs of staffing firms to help businesses keep up with the latest employment trends, legislation and practice. From protecting against liability disputes to on the job injuries we offer the most comprehensive and innovative Staffing Insurance available to ensure the security of any operation. To find out how we help solve your staffing insurance needs, contact us today at (877) 256-0468.

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