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EEOC Sues Employer Over ?Ç£Involuntary?Ç¥ Wellness Program

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the ?Ç£EEOC?Ç¥) recently sued Orion Energy Systems, Inc. (?Ç£Orion?Ç¥), a Wisconsin employer, for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (the ?Ç£ADA?Ç¥), in connection with Orion?ÇÖs employee wellness program. Under this program, participants received a 100 percent subsidy on their health plan premiums while non-participants were required to pay the full cost. The EEOC charged that the Orion wellness program was not voluntary, and thus violated the ADA, because (1) it imposed a financial penalty for non-participation and (2) the sole non-participant was terminated from employment shortly after declining to participate in the program. EEOC guidance states that a wellness program is ?Ç£voluntary?Ç¥ provided that participation is not required and the employer does not ?Ç£penalize?Ç¥ employees who do not participate. However, the EEOC has not issued formal guidance regarding whether or to what extent an employer may offer financial incentives… Continue Reading

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