Wellness Programs and the ADA: The Intersection of the ADA and Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs, Reasonable Accommodations...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


There is a new conflict in town: employer-sponsored wellness programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On several occasions the EEOC has sued employers for allegedly forcing compulsory and intrusive wellness programs aimed to improve the general health of employees. Legal Specialist Diego Demaya, J.D. will analyze issues to determine whether these popular Affordable Care Act (ACA) supported health improvement programs pose a discrimination problem against workers with disabilities and a tangible liability on employers. Is there a possible compromise for employers to foster employee wellness while avoiding unlawful medical inquiries? Diego Demaya, J.D., Legal Specialist with the Southwest ADA Center will discuss these and other related issues including:

  • Key concepts of wellness programs
  • Identify what laws crisscross with wellness program medical inquiries ““ including ADA, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Civil Rights Act, etc.
  • When a Wellness Program conflicts with ADA and other significant laws; e.g., is it truly voluntary and non-penalizing? Does the medical inquiry vitiate GINA and HIPAA?
  • What has EEOC litigation yielded thus far?

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Diego Demaya JD, Legal Specialist, Southwest ADA Center at ILRU