By Michelle AndrewS
Business groups praised a proposed new rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission clarifying how employers can construct wellness programs, but consumers advocates said the new policy could harm workers.
The EEOC published the long-awaited rule Thursday.
“This is a big step forward, primarily because the EEOC has defined what it means for a wellness program to be voluntary,” says Steve Wojcik, vice president for public policy at the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers.
The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their health. But they can ask workers for details about their health and conduct medical exams as part of a voluntary wellness program.
Before this proposal was unveiled, employers and consumer advocates alike had been uncertain how the commission defined voluntary. Continue reading