Human Resources
EEOC Lawsuit Claims Employer Wellness Program Not Voluntary Under ADA

EEOC Lawsuit Claims Employer Wellness Program Not Voluntary Under ADA


Loading

An employer's wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when the employer terminated an employee for refusing to take a health risk assessment and charged 100% of the cost of coverage as a penalty for refusing to participate, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on August 20, 2014, against a Wisconsin-based company.

The EEOC complaint alleges that the penalties under the wellness program violated the terms of the ADA, which requires that any wellness program be "voluntary." This is the EEOC’s first direct challenge to an employer wellness program under the ADA. The complaint sets up a clash with the definition of a wellness program under HIPAA, which permits participatory wellness programs that are not tied to the health of the employee.

This Aon Hewitt bulletin provides a brief overview of the lawsuit.

EEOC Lawsuit Claims Employer Wellness Program Not "Voluntary" Under ADA