Could your employee wellness program cause a lawsuit?
Many employers today offer workers cash incentives or insurance-premium reductions to fill out “voluntary’ health surveys. Some use that information to offer health advice or direct at-risk employees into wellness programs.
But, if a 'voluntary' wellness program provides some sort of financial incentive for workers to answer questions related to their medical histories, or participate in medical examinations, is it truly voluntary?
Despite good intentions surrounding wellness programs, employers must carefully navigate the legislative waters in order to develop programs that not only benefit employees, and control health care costs, but are in compliance with DOL disability laws, including: GINA, ADA, and HIPAA.Audio Conference Talking Points
Faculty:David M. Weiner, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
- Definition of a voluntary wellness program by the EEOC under the ADA
- GINA, ADA and HIPAA: Avoiding potential violations
- “Bona fide wellness”: Understand this key phrase
- How to comply with HIPAA
- Avoiding genetic discrimination under the recent GINA regulation
- Navigating the challenges presented by the ADA
- What the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act offers employers and wellness programs
- Spending on wellness programs and the “Cadillac Tax”: What employers should be aware of
Mr. Weiner is a partner practicing in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, and is the Co-Chair of the Firm's Welfare Benefits Practice Group. Before joining Seyfarth, he was a principal in the executive compensation group of an international compensation and benefits consulting firm, and a partner (and head of the employee benefits and executive compensation practice) with a major Chicago law firm. As a result of this background, Mr. Weiner has experience with respect to all elements of the pay package, and his advice relates to both the strategic and technical aspects of benefits and compensation. On a regular basis, his work includes assistance to companies involved in mergers and acquisitions, and consideration of the implications of federal tax and securities laws on benefits and compensation arrangements. Mr. Weiner is a member of the Seyfarth task force assisting clients with the employee benefits aspects of relationships with independent contractors and leased employees.