Philadelphia counsel Karen Gelula was featured in a Law360 article titled “5 Employee Wellness Program Tips as EEOC Revisits Regs.” The EEOC is currently conducting a court-ordered review of its wellness program rules. The article noted that the first thing employers should take into account when crafting wellness programs is why they want to create them in the first place. Karen stated that employers may institute wellness programs to encourage their workers to be healthier and reduce the company’s health care costs, or to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Karen stresses that employers should communicate the details of their wellness programs clearly. “The ones that work well are the ones that are communicated well,” Karen said, noting that she sometimes hears from businesses that they have wellness programs in place, but that no one participates in them. She added that it’s important for employers to vary their wellness program offerings, stating there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Karen also noted that compliance with federal law involves “a lot of moving pieces,” since employers must consider the ADA, GINA, HIPAA, and ERISA. “There are so many laws involved — it’s a struggle,” Karen said. “Once it all becomes settled law, it’ll be easier to administer.”