H.R. Insights: Wellness Programs and ADA

In May of 2016 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issued new rules that require employers who offer a wellness programs to their employees that collects employee health information to provide a notice to their employees advising them of the following:

  • What information will be collected
  • How will the information be used
  • Who will receive it
  • What will be done to keep the information confidential

If an employer gathers health information through a voluntary health risk assessment or biometric screening, they are required to provide a notice to their employees.  The purpose of this employee notice is advise the employees that the program is voluntary and that their personal health information will be kept confidential.  The notice is to be provided to the employee before they are to provide health information and with enough time to decide if they want to participate.  The EEOC rules do not provide a specific advance notification requirement.  The rules also do not mandate how the employer must distribute the notice however the subject line must be clear.  The EEOC Q & A on this ruling provided an example of “Notice Concerning Employee Wellness Program”.  The notice can be provided through e-mail or by hard copy.   

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a sample notice for employers.  The employee notice is to be provided with the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.  https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/regulations/ada-wellness-notice.cfm

As more and more employers introduce and expand their wellness programs, it is important to keep in mind the notice requirement to determine if their employees should be provided with the notice.

If you have any question, please contact us at 562-496-3760