05.16.16

Scott, Wilson Statement on EEOC’s Final Wellness Rule


WASHINGTONEducation and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Ranking Member Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) issued the following statement on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) final regulations clarifying the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) to workplace wellness programs:

“We commend the EEOC’s deliberative process in developing the final workplace wellness rule. When executed correctly, wellness programs have the potential to benefit employees and employers by improving health management and lowering health costs.  

“Effective employer-based wellness programs and robust civil rights protections can coexist. In two letters that we sent to the EEOC on their proposed rules, we emphasized that without robust protections for employees and their families, employer-based wellness programs can place private health information needlessly at risk and expose employees to unlawful discrimination.

“We also stressed that these programs work best when they are truly voluntary and workers and their families do not feel coerced into participation or face undue financial burden if they decline to participate. We remain steadfast in our belief that the EEOC must ensure employees provide their private health information to these programs voluntarily, and employers must put adequate safeguards in place to protect the private health information of workers who participate. 

“While today’s final rule contains small improvements from the proposed rules, we believe that these  changes fall short of achieving these goals. We look forward to continuing our work with the EEOC, the employer community, and workers to ensure that strong civil rights protections are maintained in wellness programs.”

Final Rules on Wellness can be found here and here

Queestion-and-Answer documents on both rules can be found here and here.

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