The First of Many Lawsuits for Discriminatory Wellness Practices?

We’ll see, but some predict that the answer is, yes. The AARP Foundation just announced it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Yale University employees, alleging that Yale’s employee wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The lawsuit contends that Yale forces certain employees and their spouses to either submit to medical exams and disclose personal health information and family medical history or pay heavy financial penalties.

The interesting point is that Yale’s program is based on better principles than most. It is not an outcomes-based incentivized wellness program and follows the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for screenings instead of annual biometric screenings as many companies schedule. Plus, Yale contracts with what has been described as a decent coaching vendor.

Many predicted that the lawsuits would happen and now precedent is being established. The EEOC is publishing new rules, but until then the advice is that companies review their current screening and incentive programs and make adjustments as needed. Discriminatory Wellness News

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