EEOC’s new wellness program rules give employers more to consider

May 16, 2016 0 COMMENTS

Employers are getting a look at new final rules affecting how they structure wellness programs, rules that are meant to clear up conflicts among various federal laws but that also may make administration of wellness programs more challenging.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) new rules describe how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness programs that request health information from employees and their spouses. The rules—one dealing with the ADA and the other with GINA—explain how workplace wellness programs can comply with the ADA and GINA consistent with provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Proposed GINA rule clears up issue on wellness programs

November 02, 2015 0 COMMENTS

A new proposed rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settles the question of whether employers are justified in seeking medical information on covered spouses participating in wellness programs.

The proposed rule, published in the October 30 Federal Register, would amend regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The proposed rule’s summary states that it addresses how an employer may offer inducements for an employee’s covered spouse to provide information about current or past health status as part of a health risk assessment connected to the employer’s wellness program.

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Fire up the paper shredder: DOL issues new FMLA forms

May 27, 2015 0 COMMENTS

Time to head to the paper shredder. The expired Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) told you to keep using have been replaced. As first reported by attorney Jeff Nowak in his “FMLA Insights” blog, the DOL recently issued new FMLA forms that don’t expire until May 31, 2018.

Other than a change in the expiration date, it appears that the only substantive change to the forms is a brief reference to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in the WH-380E, 380F, 385, and 385V medical certification forms. According to the GINA regulations, if an employer provides a safe harbor notice with the request for medical certification, any receipt of genetic information in response to the request will be considered inadvertent (and will not violate GINA).

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Employers Warned to Include GINA Disclosure on FMLA Forms (video)

November 03, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Employers have some new language to include on certain Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms because of the Genetic Information Nondisclosure Act (GINA), according to employment law attorney Stacie L. Caraway, who led an FMLA session at the October Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Caraway says a one-paragraph statement is available on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) website and tells doctors not to include any genetic information on the FMLA certification form. Including the EEOC language also gives employers a “safe harbor” showing that even if the doctor provides prohibited information, the employer didn’t violate the law.

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Health Plan Developments: Mental Health Parity, GINA, and Health Risk Assessments

October 23, 2009 0 COMMENTS

By Michelle Sullivan, Holland & Hart LLP

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, issued a statement on October 2 indicating that employers awaiting guidance before implementing changes to medical plans required by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 should not expect regulations to be issued until January 2010 — after the law goes into effect for calendar-year plans. In the absence of regulations, plan sponsors should make a reasonable “good-faith” effort to adhere to the law’s intent.

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Mandatory Federal Labor Law Poster Change for GINA

October 23, 2009 0 COMMENTS

On October 23, 2009, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster, which includes information on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

The poster was updated to include information about GINA, specifically that employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of genetic information or genetic test results.

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