Comment Period Ends for EECO’s Proposed ADA Wellness Plan Rule
Earlier in 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule amending the agency’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations for employer-sponsored wellness plans. The EEOC earlier concluded that medical exams and questions about medical history do not violate the ADA when conducted as part of a voluntary employer-sponsored wellness program. During the public comment period that ended on June 19, disability rights advocates argued that employer-sponsored wellness programs could require employees with disabilities to undergo medical exams or answer health-related questions – either of which could result in disability disclosure in the workplace – as a condition of receiving employee health benefits. The EEOC maintains that some financial incentive for wellness program participation is permissible under the ADA’s exception for employer-sponsored wellness programs. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and the American Association of People with Disabilities are among the national advocacy organizations concerned that the proposed rule would erode ADA protections for employees with disabilities if adopted.