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Wellness Program Challenged by EEOC under the ADA

Around the country, more people are concerned about health and fitness. Employers recognize this and EEOC research shows that a majority of employers now offer some type of wellness program. While assisting employees maintain or improve their health has become a priority for many businesses, some wellness programs may violate employees' rights.

Recently, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against an employer in Wisconsin when the employer allegedly required an employee to participate in medical examinations that were not job related. When the employee objected and refused to submit to the wellness program medical exam, she alleges that she was billed for the entire premium of her health benefits and then was terminated. The EEOC filed a lawsuit against the employer. The EEOC charges that the employer's wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that the employer retaliated against the employee as a result of her good-faith objections to the wellness program. The EEOC further asserts that the employer interfered with the employee's exercise of her federally protected right to not be subjected to unlawful medical exams and disability-related inquiries.

This lawsuit reiterates that employee wellness programs must be voluntary. Read more.

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