The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed corporations to reduce their health care costs by rewarding employees for voluntarily participating in workplace “wellness” programs to help them lose weight or stop smoking.
But now three of those programs are the target of discrimination lawsuits by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which says they are neither voluntary nor legal.
EEOC recently filed its third wellness lawsuit, claiming that Honeywell International, Inc.’s ACA-approved wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Honeywell recently informed employees and their spouses who were enrolled in the company’s health benefits plan that they would have to undergo biometric testing, including a blood draw, to be screened for smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other conditions. The information would then be used to set “goals” to reduce their medical risk factors.
But employees who refused to take the biometric tests would be penalized up to $4,000 in lost benefits and additional surcharges.