Eleventh Circuit

Wellness programs have become a popular tool for employers to address ever-increasing employee healthcare costs. However, wellness program designs are limited by the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other laws.  A recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit in Seff v. Broward County may make it easier for employers to provide wellness programs.  In that decision, the court held that Broward County’s wellness program did not violate the ADA, even though employees who refused to participate were subject to financial penalties.  The court concluded that the program was not subject to the ADA’s prohibition on required medical examinations and disability-related inquiries because the wellness program falls within a safe harbor for insured plans.  The safe harbor covers a program that is: 

  • offered under the terms of a bona fide benefit plan,
  • based on underwriting risks, classifying risks, or administering risks, and
  • not inconsistent with state law.  

Continue Reading Wellness Program Non-Participation Penalty Does Not Violate ADA, Says Eleventh Circuit