EEOC Lawsuits Challenge Wellness Programs—Despite Lack of EEOC Regulations

Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Labor Report

Frank C. Morris, Jr., a Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Employee Benefits practices in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, and August Emil Huelle, Associate in the Employee Benefits and Labor and Employment practices, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Labor Report, titled “EEOC Lawsuits Challenge Wellness Programs—Despite Lack of EEOC Regulations.”

Following is an excerpt (see above for a PDF of the full article):

According to the EEOC’s complaint in Orion, the company implemented a wellness program that required employees to complete a health risk assessment (HRA) that required blood work and disclosure of medical history. The complaint states that Orion covers 100 percent of the health care costs for employees who participate in the wellness program, but employees who decline must cover 100 percent of the premiums plus a $50 monthly penalty. The EEOC alleges that the charging party in this case opted out of the HRA and was terminated about a month later because he declined to participate in the wellness program.

The complaint in EEOC v. Flambeau alleges that Flambeau, through its wellness program, requires employees to complete biometric testing and an HRA, which included blood work, measurements, and disclosure of medical history. If an employee completes the biometric testing and HRA, Flambeau covers roughly three-fourths of the employee’s health insurance premiums; if not, the employee’s coverage is cancelled.