AARP Seeks to Block Wellness Program Rules

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By Kevin McGowan

Oct. 24 — AARP wants a federal court in Washington to block the EEOC’s recently issued rules that allow employers to use financial inducements to spur employee participation in workplace wellness programs ( AARP v. EEOC , D.D.C., No. 16-2113, complaint filed 10/24/16 ).

The lawsuit is the first challenging the agency’s Americans with Disabilities Act rule and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act rule that allow employers to offer limited incentives for wellness plan participation.

The two rules, issued in May, didn’t please disability rights groups or business representatives.

Civil rights advocates said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission violated the ADA by effectively forcing employees to undergo medical exams and inquiries to keep their jobs. Business groups complained the EEOC rules contradicted Affordable Care Act regulations by limiting the incentives that employers could offer.

In its lawsuit, AARP said the EEOC rules violate the Administrative Procedure Act as well as the ADA and GINA provisions that protect employees from involuntary disclosure of their health and genetic information. It asked the federal district court to issue a preliminary injunction that would block the EEOC rules, which are slated to take effect on Jan. 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin McGowan in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at; Terence Hyland at

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