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EEOC Releases New FAQS for Employers on How to Create Notices That Comply with Its Final Regulations on Employee Wellness Programs

August 30, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a sample notice and FAQs that may assist employers in complying with its final ADA regulations on employer-sponsored wellness programs, published on May 17, 2016. The final regulations at Section 1630.14 (d) (2) (iv) require employers to provide all employees, from whom they request personal health information, with a notice describing “the information to be collected, how it will be used, with whom it will be shared, and how it will be kept confidential.” The sample notice gives employers a template for constructing their own similar notice, while the FAQ provides employers with answers to frequently asked questions about the notice requirement.

The FAQ document clarifies that the employer, not necessarily the wellness program provider, is responsible for providing the notice. It clarifies that the notice must be provided in the method that will be most effective in reaching the employees invited to participate and in accessible formats for persons with disabilities. It also clarifies that the employer need not provide separate ADA and HIPAA notices for the wellness program. If the wellness program participants already received a HIPAA notice with this information, a separate ADA notice is not necessary. However, if the HIPAA notice does not include information that must be in the ADA notice, a separate notice might be necessary. This guidance will likely be helpful to employers who need clarification in order to provide effective notices, particularly to employees with disabilities with protected health information.