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Worker Wellness Program Perks Clarified in EEOC Proposals (1)

Jan. 7, 2021, 2:28 PM; Updated: Jan. 7, 2021, 5:43 PM

Employers may offer a water bottle, a gift card of “modest value,” or other minimal financial incentives to encourage workers to voluntarily join company-sponsored wellness programs without breaking federal anti-bias laws, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in proposed rules.

Wellness programs must be voluntary to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Financial incentives can have an impact on whether workers’ program participation is voluntary.

That issue previously was subject to litigation that led to a federal judge striking down portions of EEOC rules that allowed employers to cover some costs—up to...

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