EEOC Sues Company Over Its “Voluntary” Wellness Program

Employers are instituting wellness programs at an increasing rate.  However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently brought its second Americans with Disabilities Act suit over a company’s “voluntary” wellness program.

The lawsuit, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Flambeau Inc., was filed in Wisconsin federal court.  The defendant employer cancelled an employee’s medical insurance and shifted the entire premium cost to him for his failure to complete a “voluntary” health assessment and testing required under a company wellness plan.

The basis for the suit is that the employee’s need to choose between complying with such medical exams or else receiving large penalties makes the wellness program involuntary.

Furthermore, the suit alleges that the tests the employee was unable to take—the biometric testing and health risk assessment—were not job-related or in line with business necessity, and included disability-related inquiries and medical exams within the meaning of the ADA.

If you have questions about implementing a wellness program, or whether your current program is in compliance with federal and state law, please call Marianne Monroy or the GW attorney with whom you regularly work.

~Submitted by M Monroy

Categories: Employment Law