In May of this year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final rules on how wellness programs must be structured in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). See our Client Update on the final rules here.
One of the requirements set out by the final rules for wellness programs that ask employees about their medical conditions or ask that employees take a medical examination, is that employees be provided with a notice informing them of what information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it, and what will be done to keep it confidential. Wellness programs that must comply with the notice requirement include those that gather health information through voluntary health risk assessments or voluntary biometric screenings that include medical examinations (such as tests to detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes). In mid-June, the EEOC issued a model notice for employers to use to comply with the notice requirement. The notice can be found on the EEOC’s website. (A set of Q&As about the notice can be found here.)
Employers who sponsor wellness programs that must comply with the notice requirement must provide the notice effective as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.