GINA (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment) does allow employers to offer health or genetic services to their employees under certain circumstances. They have to be part of a “bona fide” wellness program that meets the following criteria:
The GINA regulations further clarify how the law applies to voluntary wellness programs and the health risk assessments (HRAs) that are used in conjunction with such programs. In general, employers may not offer a financial inducement for employees to provide genetic information. However, you may offer financial inducements for employees to complete an HRA that includes questions about family medical history or other genetic information if:
The regulations also reveal how you can provide financial inducements to encourage employees to participate in disease management programs or other programs that promote healthy lifestyles and/or to meet particular health goals as part of a health or genetic service.
Corporate wellness programs show great ROI. And they are win-win—employees feel better and are more productive, and employers reap the benefits. Even small improvements make a difference. Test drive Workplace Wellness with no cost or risk plus receive a free special report.
Several states have laws protecting the off-duty conduct of employees, and wellness programs could run afoul of them. For example, some states, including Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, have "Smokers' Rights" laws that protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of the lawful use of tobacco products outside of the workplace.
Other states, such as California, have broader coverage that includes any lawful activity occurring away from the employer's premises during nonworking hours.
When designing your wellness program, you should review state laws prohibiting employment discrimination to be sure the program complies with state requirements.
Well-structured and well-run wellness programs can generate ROIs of up to 300 percent—music to management’s ears! But the key words are “well-structured” and “well-run.” Poorly structured programs just spin their wheels—no health benefit and no positive ROI, either.
Many readers have told us that BLR’s comprehensive guidebook, Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI, has helped them get programs up and running that achieve wellness objectives with a great ROI while avoiding the legal hassles that, these days, seem to accompany any worthwhile venture in HR.
Wellness—NO downside! Impressive ROI, so management is happy. Better health, so employees are happy. And that means HR is happy! BLR's Workplace Wellness is the key to developing your workplace wellness program. Try it now and receive a FREE special report!
It’s a comprehensive guide that takes you step-by-step through setting up a program, from convincing management all the way through creating and implementing a viable plan for your workplace. The guide also includes a vast collection of ready-to-use forms, handouts, and checklists that both structure your program and provide the metrics to prove its effectiveness to management’s satisfaction.
If you’d like to examine Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees, Healthy Families, Healthy ROI on a no-cost, no-obligation basis for 30 days, we can arrange for you to do so. Let us know and we’ll be happy to set it up. Plus, we’ll give you a free special report just for trying it out, that’s yours to keep no matter what you decide.
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