News & Analysis as of

Employment Law - November 2016 #2

AARP Challenges EEOC’s Wellness Program Regulations - Why it matters - The AARP filed suit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in D.C. federal court, requesting an injunction to halt the...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List: Health & Welfare

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

EEOC, DOL, HHS and IRS Weigh-In on Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs – Is Your Program Compliant?

Wellness programs are trending in the U.S., especially with employers looking for ways to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles for their employees and to reduce the cost of their self-insured group health plan. Regardless...more

Wellness Incentive Programs: Navigating Legal Landmines and Designing Effective Employee Communication Strategies

This year’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress featured a presentation by Susan Nash that addressed the many shapes and sizes of wellness programs today. Programs are typically designed to promote health and to educate...more

The Tech Industry’s Next Frontier?

Tongue-in-cheek references to Pokémon Go as a health App aside, maybe the tech industry is on to something. In the U.S., seven out of every ten deaths are due to chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease. Perhaps...more

Navigating the Winding Highway of Wellness Program Compliance - Part I: A GPS for the EEOC’s Wellness Program Rules

The road to health plan compliance has never been straight and narrow, but it has become more winding over the years, due in large part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The road to compliance just became even more difficult...more

EEOC Clarifies ADA and GINA Wellness Incentive Rules

While the litigation over wellness programs rages on, the EEOC is still marching forward with the implementation of its wellness rules that we wrote about previously. As most people in the wellness space are aware, the...more

Hot Topics in Employer Health Benefits

As we start looking forward to 2017, and as many employers head into annual enrollment periods this fall, employers need to be aware of recent changes in the law that have a significant impact on health benefit plans. This...more

District Court Decision Upholds Employer’s Wellness Program But Signals Support for EEOC Positions Going Forward

In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected the EEOC’s claims that Orion Energy’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Although the court upheld the...more

Half a Loaf: Court Rejects ADA "Safe Harbor" But Approves Pre-Regulations Wellness Program as "Voluntary"

The EEOC’s attack on employee wellness programs as unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that began in 2014 with three lawsuits, and continued with...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – September 2016

New Guidance Affects Wellness Program Design - Over the last several months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have provided additional guidance regarding the...more

Client Alert: The Physics of Wellness at Work

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that Law is evident in the workplace wellness environment. Employers believe they are doing right by their employees by...more

The EEOC's View of Wellness Programs

The EEOC’s regulations allayed many concerns over the permissible level of incentives/penalties, as well as the challenge of dealing with inconsistent requirements under the various laws. Originally published in The HR...more

Significantly More Information to Be Collected Under the Proposed Form 5500

If adopted, the changes would be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The revisions affecting pension plans, and details regarding changes to Schedules H and I that affect funded plans (such as...more

Punching the Clock in the 21st Century: Could Your Bonuses and Promotions Be Determined By Wearable Tech?

From Apple Watches to Fitbits, the market for wearable technology has steadily increased over the years. In 2015, just under 50 million wearable devices were shipped. Additionally, the wearables market is expected to...more

Time for a Wellness Check on your Wellness Program? New EEOC Regulations Could Diagnose Need for Change

In light of new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers should examine their wellness programs now (and during open enrollment for next year) to determine the potential impact of the final...more

Employer Wellness Programs: ADA, ACA, and HIPAA Compliance

Employer wellness programs are a subject of much interest to employers and receive considerable scrutiny from the EEOC and Department of Labor. Employers want to lower their health care costs by improving the health of...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Newsletter: July 2016

General Data Protection Regulation Update - As reported in the April Locke Lord Privacy & Cybersecurity Newsletter, the European Parliament gave the final approval to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on...more

EEOC Final Rules on Wellness Programs and the ADA – Worth the Wait?

On May 16, 2016, the EEOC issued final rules that explain how the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to employer sponsored wellness programs. Although some may welcome the guidance, others may be frustrated...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2016

Editor's Overview - In this month’s newsletter, our colleagues focus on two sets of legislative updates. First is a discussion of the IRS’s proposed Treasury Regulations prescribing rules under Section 457 of the...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness...more

EEOC Offers Guidance On Employee Wellness Program Notices Required Under New Rules

On the heels of at least two discrimination lawsuits over employer wellness programs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued two new rules on May 17, 2016 under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and...more

EEOC Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

You know the drill. A manufacturer advertises a new drug, warning, of course, that some users may suffer serious side effects. A year or two later, lawyers counter-advertise for new clients with those conditions who took...more

EEOC Issues Final Rules on Wellness Program Incentives Under the ADA, GINA

On May 17, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) finalized regulations on wellness program incentives permissible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), which prohibits discrimination...more

Privacy Tip #38 – Genetic Privacy and the Use of Genomic Information

Genetic information is basically one’s DNA sequence, which includes health information and genetic information about the individual and their family. It is at the core of one’s individual privacy, as well as providing...more

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