On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me another grouping of birds—excercising birds to be specific. I cannot tell if this is similar to receiving an exercise bike or treadmill for Christmas, a small nudge to get into shape, but even if that was not the intent, it reminded me to exercise, which reminded me of wellness programs and the EEOC’s recent infatuation with them. We have discussed wellness programs a lot in the last few months in large part because the EEOC has begun to bring enforcement actions against companies alleging that company wellness plans are violating the ADA, Title VII, or GINA.
Last month, the EEOC issued its agenda items for 2015. The agenda contains eight items (many of which are holdovers from the previous regulatory agenda), but the two highest priority items are plans to amend the ADA and GINA regulations to address a wellness plan’s financial inducement or health-risk-assessment requirements and how those items may violate federal prohibitions against disability or genetic information discrimination.
This comes on the heals of much criticism from employer representatives for the EEOC’s recents suit against employers under the ADA and GINA including the recent action of EEOC v. Honeywell International, Inc. filed in the District of Minnesota. In addition to Honeywell, the EEOC has filed lawsuits against Oriaon Energy Systems, Inc. and Flambeau over their wellness programs.
The EEOC has set a proposed target date of 2015 for ADA and GINA proposed rules.