Q. In an effort to encourage our employees to make healthy lifestyle choices, we plan to offer an employeestarting this summer. Is there anything we need to be careful about?
A. Wellness programs must be optional in order to be legal—you cannot require employee participation. In an optional wellness program, employers are permitted to conduct voluntary medical examinations of employees. The ADA expressly permits this.
However, be very careful about handling sensitive medical information. It is confidential, personal information, and you could be liable for any misuse or disclosure. Additionally, if an employee is later terminated after engaging in the wellness program, you may find yourself defending against a claim of disability discrimination.
It could be difficult to establish that, although you knew of any potential health issues, these were not the basis of any employment decisions. For these reasons, it is advisable to refrain from handling any of these medical records, and you should seek legal counsel before initiating the wellness program. While such wellness programs can be a win-win for employers and employees, you need to be careful as you set them up on the front-end in order to avoid problems on the back-end.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/34609/were-starting-a-wellness-program-any-caveats "