Americans With Disabilities Act

After years of confusing and sometimes contradictory signals (described in previous posts here and here), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has finally proposed a regulation explaining how employment-based wellness programs can satisfy the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Continue Reading EEOC Proposes New Restrictions for Health Awareness Programs

The Supreme Court held on March 25, 2015 in Young v. UPS that a plaintiff alleging pregnancy discrimination based upon the denial of an accommodation may proceed under the familiar McDonnell Douglas framework generally applied to Title VII discrimination claims. The Court’s decision, which resulted in a remand to the Fourth Circuit, surprised many observers in rejecting the arguments set forth by both parties in the case and instead setting forth a new rule for applying the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).
Continue Reading Supreme Court Makes New Rule in Analyzing Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing this week on “Wellness Programs Under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws.”  Amy Moore testified at the hearing on behalf of long-time Covington client The ERISA Industry Committee (“ERIC”), a non-profit association committed to the advancement of the employee retirement, health, and other benefit programs of America’s largest employers.

The hearing focused on the treatment of wellness programs under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The ADA permits employers to offer voluntary medical examinations or request voluntary medical histories as long as they keep the information confidential and do not use it for discriminatory purposes.  The EEOC issued enforcement guidance in 2000 stating that voluntary wellness programs can qualify for this exception; but the EEOC has never made it clear whether a wellness program is “voluntary” if it offers employees incentives to participate in the program. 
Continue Reading EEOC Holds Hearing on Workplace Wellness Programs