The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently proposed a rule to amend regulations in Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 for corporate wellness programs. These types of programs are used by about 580,000 companies in the U.S. alone, so the implications of this rule could be huge. Learn more about how this could affect your business by reading below:
The proposed EEOC rule states that if the information the employer obtains through a corporate wellness program is truly medical information, such as a person’s heart rate over a certain period of time, then that information will be subject to the ADA’s medical confidentiality regulations. This rule would hold regardless of how the employer obtains this information about employees. However, information that is not medical information, such as calories burned or how many steps a person takes, is not subject to the ADA’s disclosure restrictions.
Much of the health and fitness information gathered under company-sponsored fitness programs would likely fall under this new rule. For example, recording a person’s heart rate during workouts is a feature on many fitness apps and smartwatches that are used in corporate wellness programs.
The intent of the proposed rule seems to be to inform companies on the extent that they can use incentives, financial and otherwise, to get workers to sign on to their wellness programs. The EEOC is concerned that some employees are coerced into participating, rather than participating voluntarily. There are also concerns about employers discriminating against people on the basis of personal health concerns as they collect this type of information through wellness programs
A Lawful, Beneficial Wellness Program
Complying with new regulations as they come into place is extremely important for any company to be sure that it is doing right by its employees, while improving the business. Test Smartly Labs can help you design a workplace wellness program that complies with federal regulations and really works to increase the wellness of your employees and your workplace. To learn more about Test Smartly Lab’s services and to find the corporate wellness program that is right for your company, visit the Test Smartly Labs Corporate Wellness page, or find your local Test Smartly Labs location here.