May 2015

Consultants, employers, and other interested parties have been eagerly awaiting the EEOC's rulemaking on employee wellness programs following several suits filed in 2013. On April 20, 2015 the notice was released, bringing some relief, continued questions, and a back-to-the-drawing-board effort for companies tying health plan enrollment to completion of an assessment or biometrics testing. I've rounded up the notice, in its entirety and in summary, as well as commentary to help you stay smart on this evolving topic.

If the conversation about workplace well-being at the Virgin Disruptors event in San Francisco is any indication, this EEOC notice could be out of date. 
This event featured Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandburg, Arianna Huffington, and others discussing workplace well-being. Over a three-hour event, never was heard the words assessment, biometrics, incentives or even health care. Read on for my summary


Well Read

Recommended reading for the month:

EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Application of the ADA to Employer Wellness Programs This press release summarizes the proposed rule and links you to a useful Q&A on the topic.

Amendments to Regulations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act This is the full proposed rule as contained in the Federal Register. The rule is open to comments until June 19, 2015.

Workplace Wellness Programs: Federal Agencies Weigh In Almost a "Guidance for Dummies," Timothy Jost takes you through the history of certain wellness program legislation and the meaning of this new guidance. 

EEOC Proposed Regulations May Require Revisions to Your Tobacco Prevention Wellness Program "One of the most noteworthy differences between the two regulations is the treatment of the maximum permissible reward that employers can offer to employees under wellness programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use." (JD Supra Business Advisor)


Well Said 

Being in Las Vegas makes people think of their financial well-being. It certainly did for Carol Harnett and me, thankfully before we lost our shirts to the slots. While at the Human Resource Executive Health & Benefits Leadership Conference we noted a distinct focus on the matter, but not a lot of consensus on what financial well-being is and how employers can help improve it. We decided then and there to launch a series on the matter, starting with the one area we immediately think of when we consider our finances: retirement security. Join us as we talk with Laurie Rowley, co-founder and president of The National Association of Retirement Plan Participants about why we're failing employees in their effort to save. Listen now. 


Well Done

Schindler Elevator Corporation recently engaged context to help revamp and revitalize its employee recognition program. Over time, the number of awards and award types had grown at Schindler, but the understanding of how and when to use them hadn't. The awards were underused and recipients were confused about what they were receiving and why. Result: No dopamine high or related bump in career and social well-being. Work is underway, with the intention of creating a clear distinction between awards, clear criteria for each, and clear value for all. 


Well Connected
Here's where I'll be speaking in the months ahead:

The Fifth Annual IHC Forum West
November 16-18, 2015


614 South 8th Street, #271
Philadelphia, PA 19147