Rules on Application of the ADA To Employer Wellness Program

An EEAC Web Workshop Recording

Recorded April 29, 2015

EEAC hosted a Web Workshop to discuss the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed rules concerning the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employer wellness programs. The proposed rule focuses on the extent to which employers may use incentives in conjunction with such programs. The workshop was designed to provide background information, a summary of important provisions of the proposed rule, and additional information about the rulemaking process.


In 2013, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor implemented final regulations concerning the use of incentives in corporate wellness programs in light of amendments made to health care laws by the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the EEOC held a public meeting to discuss how the ADA and other laws may apply to wellness plans, in particular the use of incentives. At the meeting, it was made clear that stakeholders disagree widely about the extent to which employer wellness programs may use incentives and remain in compliance with civil rights statutes.

Last year, the EEOC initiated litigation in three separate cases challenging corporate wellness policies under the ADA. The agency has been heavily criticized for pursuing litigation without offering any relevant guidance for employers. On April 20, 2015, the EEOC proposed regulations regarding the application of the ADA to the use of incentives in corporate wellness programs. While the EEOC proposes to permit certain incentives, it proposes restricting others that would otherwise be lawful under various health care laws. During this web workshop, EEAC staff outlined important background information and walked through the major issues raised in the rulemaking. In addition, EEAC staff reviewed those areas where the EEOC is seeking particular feedback from stakeholders.




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