Business · Interesting

EEOC Says Wellness Program Violates ADA

Joe's HR and Benefits Blog

An employer can have a program that rewards employees for attaining positive health goals, but it must remain voluntary and not penalize workers who decline to participate, the EEOC said yesterday in announcing its first Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit over such programs.

According to the EEOC, Orion Energy Systems, based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, violated the ADA by requiring an employee to submit to medical examinations and questions that were not job-related or consistent with business necessity as part of its wellness program. And when the employee refused to participate in the program, the company allegedly transferred responsibility for paying the entire health premium to her.

A majority of employers now offer some sort of wellness program — 94 percent of employers with over 200 workers, and 63 percent of smaller ones, according to Karen Pollitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation. So employers with these programs need to be especially mindful…

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Business · Interesting

ERISA’s 40th Birthday—Private Plan Performance

Salisbury Salisbury

By Dallas Salisbury, EBRI

This week marks the 40th Labor Day since President Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 into law. ERISA has been amended many times since then—as have Internal Revenue Code provisions that relate to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans. Private-sector regulatory change has come as well, via the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The U.S. and global economies, trade and employment have changed continuously over this 40 years, as has the general societal view of individual responsibility

I will leave to others conclusions on why things have gone as they have, but will provide four data pictures of the 40 years of ERISA—and by coincidence, my entire career in the benefits world—which has revolved around ERISA and employee benefits.

Chart 1 Chart 1

Chart 1 shows income sources in 1975 as reported by the Current Population Survey. Many describe the 70’s and earlier as the…

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