EEOC Proposes ADA Changes; Proposed Rule Seeks Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Employee Benefit News

Frank C. Morris, Jr., a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employee Benefits practices, Adam C. Solander, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, and August Emil Huelle, an Associate in the Employee Benefits and Labor and Employment practices, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Employee Benefit News, titled “EEOC Proposes ADA Changes; Proposed Rule Seeks Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Following is an excerpt:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recently proposed rule on wellness programs clarifies that an employer may offer limited incentives up to a maximum of 30% of the total cost of employee-only coverage, whether in the form of a reward or penalty, to promote an employee's participation in a wellness program that includes disability-related inquiries or biometric examinations - as long as participation is voluntary.

Under the proposed rule, "voluntary" means that an entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employees to participate, doesn't deny coverage under any of its group health plans or limit coverage to an employee who refuses to participate in the program, and does not take any adverse employment action against employees who do not participate.

Further, to ensure that participation in a wellness program that includes disability-related inquiries or medical examinations and is a part of a group health plan is truly voluntary, an employer must provide an employee with a notice indicating what medical information will be obtained, who will receive the medical information, how the medical information will be used, the restrictions on such information's disclosure, and the methods that the covered entity will employ to prevent improper disclosure.

The article is based on the authors' Client Alert "EEOC Issues Proposed Wellness Program Amendments to ADA Regulations."