The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will terminate its current workplace wellness regulations on January 1, 2019.
The EEOC established the regulations to keep the disclosure of information as part of employer wellness programs voluntary, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).
The change in regulations follows a lawsuit filed in 2016 by AARP that challenged the part of the EEOC regulations concerning the percentage of premiums employers could impose on employees who refuse to disclose medical and genetic information through workplace wellness programs.
A federal judge ruled that the current regulations were not properly justified and thus were unlawful. According to the ruling, the EEOC could not provide proof that a 30 percent incentive level made wellness programs "voluntary" under the ADA and GINA.
The judge ordered the EEOC to create new rules. A draft of the new regulations is scheduled for August 2018, while the final rules will not be available until October 2019. Marlene Y. Satter "EEOC Wellness Regulations Will Sunset In January 2019" www.benefitspro.com (Dec. 28, 2017).