Developments for Employers that Sponsor Wellness Programs

By on April 15, 2011

by Amy Gordon, Susan Nash and Jamie Weyeneth

On April 11, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found in favor of the defendant’s (Broward County) motion for summary judgment in Seff v. Broward County.  The plaintiff, which is made up of a class of present and former employees of Broward County, brought suit against Broward County based on its wellness program (administered by its insurer Coventry) claiming that the $20 charge assessed on each bi-weekly paycheck for each employee who participated in the group health plan and who did not complete the wellness questionnaire and undergo biometric screening violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Broward County maintained that it did not violate the ADA since its actions are covered by the ADA’s safe harbor rules which covers entities involved in insurance plans.  The court agreed with the defendant, Broward County, and held that the wellness program is permissible as it falls within the ADA’s safe harbor provision.

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