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Lawsuit Tests Workplace Wellness Program

By Net Assets posted 17 days ago


(From SHRM) A class-action lawsuit recently filed on behalf of Yale University’s workers reveals the risks of offering wellness programs that include financial incentives as well as growing fears around employees’ protection of personal medical information. The suit charges that the university’s employee wellness program — which requires approximately 5,000 union employees and their spouses to submit to medical tests and to allow release of their insurance claims data to wellness vendors — violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

While both laws generally prohibit disclosing an employee’s health- and genetic-related information unless the employee provides the information voluntarily, workers have charged that a sizable financial penalty renders the wellness program involuntary. Employers can take early actions to reduce liability by eliminating any wellness incentive or penalty and waiting for further guidance from the EEOC.

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