Getting Sued for Your Wellness Program

A class action lawsuit has been brought against Yale University, alleging that the school’s employee wellness program “uses financial incentives that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)”.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Yale required its 5,000 union employees (and spouses) to release their medical claims and submit to medical testing by their wellness vendor.

Those employees who do not participate are subject to a penalty of $1,300 per year.

According to William Alvarado Rivera, senior vice president of litigation at AARP Foundation:

“Under federal law, disclosing medical and genetic information and test results in workplace wellness programs must be voluntary…Workers should have the freedom to choose whether to divulge personal health information in the workplace, as Congress intended.”

SHRM cautions that while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is working to develop wellness rules, employers must assess risks before offering wellness programs that include financial incentives.

For more information, please click here.

The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from SHRM on July 24, 2019 written by Stephen Miller CEBS.

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