News & Analysis as of

ACA Liabilities: Workplace Wellness Programs in Crosshairs of EEOC

Employers implementing new voluntary workplace wellness programs that are otherwise compliant with regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nevertheless finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Equal Employment...more

EEOC Casts Uncertainty on Popular Wellness Programs

Action Item: Employers with wellness programs that involve higher premiums or other increased cost-sharing for employees who do not participate should contact us immediately to discuss their wellness strategies and to assess...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 4: EEOC v. Honeywell and the Future of Wellness Programs

While my entries have focused principally on the employer shared responsibility rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), every once in a while an item comes along that nevertheless grabs my attention. The treatment of wellness...more

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens ”involuntary” and thus violate Americans with...more

Federal Judge Rejects EEOC's Attempt to Block Honeywell's Wellness Program

Last week, EmployNews reported a lawsuit filed against Honeywell by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenging a new wellness program the agency alleged violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the...more

EEOC Sues Honeywell for Biometric Screening Requirement in Wellness Plan

Last month’s EmployNews reported on two new lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission challenging alleged excessive financial penalties included in employer-sponsored wellness plans. On Monday, the EEOC...more

Considering a Wellness Program for Employees? Make Sure You Do Not Violate the ADA or Other Laws in the Process

Rising health insurance costs have bedeviled employers for years. Wellness programs represent one tool designed to increase employee health and reduce health insurance costs. The Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) so called...more

EEOC Files Two Recent Lawsuits Challenging Employer Wellness Programs

The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote employer wellness programs. However, employers should not rush to establish such programs without first considering the implications of the Americans with...more

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 7 of 11 – Joey Chestnut Gets Engaged, Wins Yet Another Hotdog Eating Contest and … then...

61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Let me repeat: 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. That’s an incredible 6.1 hotdogs per minute! But for competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut, it was just another day at the office. Chestnut took home...more

2014: The Affordable Care Act Is Alive and Well – Are You Ready?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) recently announced yet another delay in the Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While this latest suspension in the enforcement of...more

Welcomed Guidance on Wellness Programs

On June 3, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (Agencies) issued final regulations regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and...more

Recent Guidance on Wellness Programs Clarifies Premium Surcharges for Tobacco Use

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 50: Wellness Programs, Affordability, and Premium Tax Credits

The Affordable Care Act imposes a series of interrelated requirements on individuals, employers and providers. Individuals must maintain coverage or face the prospect of a tax penalty; carriers must offer and renew coverage....more

Welcome 2014: Five Employment Law Trends You Need to Know

Now that we have reviewed the laws that are affecting California employers beginning in 2014, we cast an eye forward to examine employment issues that could impact your workplace in the New Year. Based on our review of...more

Group Health Plans: Year-End Action Items and Upcoming Changes

Group health plan sponsors turn their attention to completing 2013 tasks, implementing upcoming 2014 changes, preparing for the ACA Shared Responsibility requirement in 2015, and documenting recent extensive plan changes....more

Workplace Wellness Programs

Recognizing that unhealthy lifestyles affect people of all ages, including those in the workforce, employers are using legally sanctioned incentives in an attempt to change behavior toward better and healthier choices through...more

ACA Not Enough to Save Penn State’s Employee Wellness Program

Recent negative media reports caused Pennsylvania State University to modify its employee wellness program, making clear that considering compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) alone is...more

WANTED: EEOC Guidance On Wellness Plans Under The ACA

Employee wellness plans have been in the spotlight lately. This is because new wellness plan rules published in the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (informally called Obamacare) are slated to take effect in...more

Carrot Or Stick? When Does A Voluntary Wellness Program Become Involuntary?

Employer wellness programs, which are designed to stem rising health care costs by encouraging healthy behaviors among employees, are rising in popularity. Such programs will receive another boost when certain provisions of...more

eAlert - How to Comply with the Affordable Care Act: Four Things a California Employer Needs to Know

It’s the single most controversial law passed by Congress in the last 10 years. Business groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat it in Congress and to have it overturned in the courts. But now, the Patient...more

Healthcare Gamification - Regulation of Wellness Programs

Gamification has become pervasive in many every day activities, including health and wellness programs. For companies involved in these activities, you should make sure you are aware of the final Affordable Care Act ("ACA")...more

Final Wellness Regulations Create New Program Categories and Complications

The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently published final Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) regulations on wellness programs, effective in 2014. The regulations retain the...more

Final Wellness Rules May Require Review of Existing Wellness Programs

Final wellness regulations were issued by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) on June 3, 2013 and apply to employer-sponsored group health plans for plan years beginning on or...more

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