Americans with Disabilities Act
Subscribe to Americans with Disabilities Act's Posts

What to Know Before Enforcing a Nicotine-Free Workplace

Certain employers might prefer to avoid hiring nicotine users: smokers, dippers and vapers alike. U-Haul International Inc. is doing so, with a policy that went into effect on February 1. Thus, this is an opportune moment to examine why employers might consider doing likewise, the legal ramifications of such policies and the alternatives for encouraging healthier workforces.

McDermott’s Jacob M. Mattinson, Aaron Sayers and Erin Steele contribute to a Law360 article exploring the practical and legal considerations related to a workplace nicotine ban, the impact on healthcare costs, whether employers can use health plan information to fire nicotine users once hired, and how other employers are addressing the costs of nicotine usage in their workforces.

Access the full article.

Originally published on Law360, January 2020




Court to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: “Try Again” on Wellness Rules

In October 2016, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) sued the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking an injunction against the latest iteration of wellness program regulations. The final EEOC regulations issued last year offer employers a roadmap for offering employee wellness programs that pass muster as “voluntary” examinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). In response, AARP argued that the EEOC failed to adequately justify the new rules and abused its regulatory power by reversing course on its long-standing position against wellness programs.

Continue Reading.




Wellness Incentive Programs: Navigating Legal Landmines and Designing Effective Employee Communication Strategies

This year’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress featured a presentation by Susan Nash that addressed the many shapes and sizes of wellness programs today. Programs are typically designed to promote health and to educate employees about prevention, but some are disease management oriented, while others are designed to improve the general overall health of an employee population.

Presentation focal points included:

  • HIPAA Nondiscrimination Rules
  • Tri-Agency Guidance under ACA on Wellness Programs
  • Americans with Disabilities Act and GINA
  • EEOC Enforcement of ADA and Final Regulations
  • Internal Revenue Code Limitations

View presentation slides.




EEOC Model Wellness Program Notice

Today, the EEOC issued its model notice to be used in conjunction with wellness programs that ask disability related inquiries or require medical examinations. The notice requirement applies prospectively to employer wellness programs as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017, for the health plan used to determine the level of incentive permitted under the regulations. An employer’s HIPAA notice of privacy practices may suffice to satisfy the ADA notice requirements if it contains the ADA-required information. However, given the timing requirements for distribution of the HIPAA notice and the fact that the EEOC rules apply to wellness programs outside of the group health plan, a separate ADA notice may be required.

Questions and Answers: Sample Notice for Employees Regarding Employer Wellness Programs

Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs




EEOC Releases Final Wellness Program Regulations Related to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released final wellness plan regulations providing guidance on how employer wellness programs may comply with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The EEOC made it very clear that compliance with the HIPAA nondiscrimination rules does not necessarily mean that an employer is in compliance with the final wellness program rules under the ADA or GINA.

Read the full article.




Flambeau Inc. Wellness Program Testing Falls Within ADA Safe Harbor

On December 30, 2015, a federal judge in the Western District of Wisconsin ruled in favor of Flambeau, Inc. and against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in holding that Flambeau’s medical exams as part of its wellness program and self-insured medical plan did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Read the full article.




EEOC Proposed Rules Provide Long-Awaited Guidance for Wellness Programs

Susan M. Nash wrote this bylined article about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) long-awaited guidance on when it will enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against employers who sponsor certain types of employee wellness programs. “Although still in proposed form, the proposed rule provides insight into EEOC’s approach toward regulating employer wellness programs,” Ms. Nash wrote.

Read the full article in Corporate Wellness Magazine.




EEOC Issues Guidance on Employer Provided Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a long-awaited proposed rule amending regulations implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide guidance regarding the extent to which employers may use incentives to encourage employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations. The proposed rule provides insight into the EEOC’s approach to regulating employer wellness programs, so employers should consider reviewing their wellness programs for consistency with the proposed rule.

Read the full article.




Developments for Employers that Sponsor Wellness Programs

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.

Click here for more detailed information.




STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES