On January 7, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed guidance regarding employer-sponsored wellness programs and the level of incentives employers may offer employees who participate in these programs in the form of two proposed rules. On January 20, 2021, the Biden administration ordered agencies to immediately withdraw most unpublished rules, including the EEOC proposed rules. Agencies may not issue any new regulations until they can be reviewed and approved by agency or department heads appointed or designated by President Biden.
Beginning January 15, 2020, new, more employer-friendly regulations determine how overtime pay is calculated under the Fair Labor Standards Act. We identified the top 10 things you should know about what is being changed or clarified.
In a presentation at McDermott’s Employment and Employee Benefits Forum, Jeffrey Holdvogt discussed qualified plans, including student loan repayment benefits and the rise of DOL/IRS/PBGC plan activity. He also commented on the scrutiny on plan governance and fiduciary process materials. He addressed the legal challenges and mandates, such as state laws protecting against balance billing by out-of-network providers.
During the most recent Tax in the City event in Dallas, Partners Erin Turley and Judith Wethall, presented on the rise of consumer driven health care. Some popular programs they discussed include wellness, smoking cessation, high deductible health plans and HSAs, telemedicine, direct contracting and affordable care organizations. They also discussed the compliance complexities associated with these programs, including ERISA, FLSA and HIPAA privacy concerns.
On September 19, 2017, in the ongoing lawsuit the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought against Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Orion) regarding its wellness program, a Wisconsin federal judge found that Orion’s wellness program was voluntary. The employees have a choice between participating in the program or paying the full price for health benefits. The final results of this case remain to be seen since the judge also held that the EEOC can apply its new rules on such wellness programs retroactivity.