In October 2016, AARP sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) arguing that there was no explanation for the shift in the EEOC’s position relating to what makes participation in a wellness program “voluntary”.  Originally, the EEOC argued that in order for a wellness program to be “voluntary,” employers

On April 5, 2017 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it had reached a settlement with Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (Orion) relating to the EEOC’s claims that Orion’s wellness program violated the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) because participation was involuntary, and that Orion retaliated against an employee who objected to the program.

On January 25, 2017, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Flambeau, Inc., the Seventh Circuit rejected an EEOC challenge to an employer wellness program.  The circuit court had the opportunity to address whether an employer’s wellness program was an involuntary medical examination pursuant to the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12112(d)(4), but instead found the

As previously discussed, AARP has filed suit against the EEOC and challenged the agency’s wellness regulations.  See https://www.disabilityleavelaw.com/2016/10/articles/ada/the-eeocs-2016-wellness-program-regulations-the-saga-continues/  On December 29, 2016, this challenge suffered a setback.  In the December 29, 2016 Memorandum Opinion, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates denied AARP’s request for preliminary injunction and held that the regulations would take effect

In a much anticipated decision, a Wisconsin federal district court has granted Orion Energy Systems, Inc.’s summary judgment on the EEOC’s challenge to its wellness program design. See Sept 19, 2016 Decision and Order. While largely good news for Orion, the ruling creates even more confusion for employers seeking clarity on wellness program design principles. 

The EEOC today released for public comment its proposed rule to amend its regulations and interpretive guidance as they relate to wellness programs, including the size of incentives an employer may offer yet still have a “voluntary” wellness program under the ADA. For additional information concerning the proposed rule, click here.

The days of referring to the EEOC’s guidance on wellness incentives under the ADA and GINA as “long-awaited” may be coming to an end.   The EEOC announced that it has sent a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on this issue to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance.

The NPRM is not available