EEOC Rule on Wellness and Genetic Information

November 4, 2015

pic-eeoc-laborOn Oct. 30, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule which would amend existing rules under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Specifically, the rule aims to bring GINA rules as they relate to wellness programs in-line with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which increased the maximum wellness incentive limit to 30 percent of the employer-sponsored health plan.

The intent of the proposal is to clarify how an employer, under GINA rules, is allowed to incentivize employees to share health information for themselves and their spouses as it relates to voluntary wellness programs. Under GINA, employers are limited in terms of what they can ask regarding employees’ spouses because the law encompasses an employee’s family member’s past or present health status.

While the proposed rule does allow for incentives to be provided to employees in exchange for their and their spouses health status, it prevents such incentives to be used for the sharing of genetic information. In addition to the level of incentives, the proposed rule also outlines what these incentives may include, such as “time-off awards, prizes, or other items of value.”

Click here to view the proposed rule.