EEOC Delays Amending Wellness Program Regulations to End of 2019
On May 22, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its plans to issue amended regulations related to wellness program incentives by December 2019. This signals the second pushback of the EEOC’s deadline to publish new wellness program incentive regulations.
Back in 2016, the EEOC had finalized two rules that regulated employer-sponsored wellness programs. These rules allowed employers to offer incentives for wellness programs that asked employees health-related questions or included medical exams.
The rules also allowed employers to offer incentives in exchange for health-related information about employees’ spouses. In August 2017, a federal district court had vacated portions of the final rules, and required the EEOC to revise the incentive limit portion of the rules. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the EEOC removed the incentive limits from the final rule.
Until new regulations are issued, employers should carefully review their wellness programs to ensure compliance.