The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final regulations governing the operation of wellness benefits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The final regulations, published today in the Federal Register and effective January 1, 2017, are largely unchanged from the proposed versions issued in 2015.

While the final regulations represent a sea change in prior EEOC positions presented through earlier litigation, there are still a number of differences between the final EEOC rules and the Tri-Agency ACA wellness regulations issued in 2013 and other concerns.

In particular, the final EEOC regulations

  • base maximum permissible incentives on 30% of the cost of the least expensive self-only health coverage;
  • require a new notice about the wellness benefit plan; and
  • continue to reject the Seff v. Broward County Florida holdings that the wellness benefit of a bona fide employee benefits plan is exempt from the ADA.