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Data Privacy and Workplace Wellness

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Aug 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

You may have heard me say repeatedly that securing and maintaining the privacy of any employee health information wellness program professionals collect should be a priority. Employees care about the privacy of their information. Any doubt about a wellness program’s privacy and security capabilities can undermine an employee’s willingness to participate in the program.

Substance Abuse and Workplace Wellness

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Jul 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Because of the opioid epidemic, many workplace wellness programs may want to tackle substance abuse issues. This blog post addresses some of the legal issues associated with those efforts. Go to the blog post at https://www.welcoa.org/blog/substance-abuse-workplace-wellness/.

Congress Proposes Bill Eviscerating GINA and ADA Wellness Rules

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Mar 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

The bill, HR 1313 and entitled “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act” acts to eviscerate much of the EEOC final Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules released last May. In a nutshell, the proposed law would relieve workplace wellness programs from complying with ADA and GINA rules. Instead, both group health plan workplace wellness programs as well as workplace wellness programs not offered in conjunction with a group health plan would only have to worry about complying with certain ACA incentive rules.

Clearing the Confusion on Tying Rewards to Spousal Wellness Program Participation

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Oct 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Since the EEOC issued the final rule under the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), there have been a number of questions relating to what is permissible with respect to rewarding employees for spousal participation in wellness programs. So, under the GINA rule, how can an employer wellness program tie an employee’s reward to his or her spouse’s participation, if at all? This blog post explores several examples.

ADA Safe Harbor Loses Wellness Program Potential in Orion Energy Decision

Posted by Barbara J. Zabawa | Sep 20, 2016 | 1 Comment

The Orion Energy court issued a decision on September 19, 2016 adopting the EEOC's position that the ADA safe harbor did not apply to Orion Energy's workplace wellness program and that the EEOC's final ADA rules were issued within its authority and were reasonable. Nevertheless, the court found Orion Energy's wellness program to be voluntary and in compliance with the ADA even though nonparticipants had to pay 100% of the cost of their health insurance premium.

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