Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"My company's wellness program is asking me health questions. Is that legal?"

We often hear from consumers who ask whether it's legal for their employer to ask health questions in conjunction with employee wellness programs.

Last week, the federal government issued a final rule addressing this issue. The answer: Yes, employers can do that, as long as they meet certain non-discrimination criteria. Among them:
  • The wellness program must be "reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease,"
  • must not be overly burdensome,
  • and may not be "a subterfuge for discriminating based on a health factor."

Here’s a link to the rule where you'll find a lot more details, plus a link to an article that gives a good overview of the rule.