The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is being sued by AARP reports CBS News. The suit is concerned with federal wellness rules that may penalize employees who withhold medical information connected to wellness programs, regardless if the worker is enrolled in a company’s group health plan.
Wellness programs may feature detailed medical questionnaires, health screenings, weight assessments, or other tests. These programs may give incentives for workers adopting healthy behaviors and dramatically reduce insurance premiums. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, premiums can average $6,435 per individual, with an employee average contribution of $1,129.
As CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus explained on a recent “CBS This Morning”, when the new law goes into effect in January 2017, a person could receive a 30% incentive (possibly several thousand dollars) by submitting to a medical exam and disclosing health information.
AARP maintains the rules (which implement regulations of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act) will make workers prone to discrimination and compromise privacy. As the nation’s largest consumer interest group for American’s over 50, AARP is seeking a preliminary injunction.
One strategy to protect employees from discrimination is use a hotline. A hotline can allow employees to report things like possible discrimination and other unethical behavior, anonymously if they choose.