Since April, employers have been mulling over proposed wellness program regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to address certain issues under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). We briefly summarized those proposed rules, and remind readers that there still is time to submit comments to the EEOC in order to seek clarity or request changes, additions to the proposed rules. But the content of those proposed rules left many to ask, “What about GINA?”
According to a recent announcement by the EEOC, the agency plans to issue in July proposed rules that would amend earlier regulations issued under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). According to the EEOC’s announcement, the amendments would “address inducements to employees’ spouses or other family members who respond to questions about their current or past medical conditions on health risk assessments (HRA).” Of course, as there are many other popular features of wellness programs beyond HRAs, we hope that the new guidance will also address some of those features. These include, without limitation, biometric screenings, health coaching, health fairs, and others programs that provide incentives for employees and their spouses and dependents to adopt healthier lifestyles.