As of May 17, 2016, there are new rules under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that now requires employers that offer wellness programs that collect employee health information to provide a notice to employees informing them:

How will this EEOC notice effect your program?
Your communications are critical as they create employees PERCEPTION about the program. Do they see the program as a benefit to enhance their life? Or are those assessments and incentives pushing the line of privacy between employers and employees? If you haven’t yet seen the  “Sample Notice for Employer -Sponsored Wellness Program” directly from the EEOC, it is LONG and if your employees weren’t worried about “big brother” before this, they may get concerned now. For instance the statement, “You may not be discriminated against in employment because of the medical information you provide as part of participating in the wellness program, nor may you be subjected to retaliation if you choose not to participate.” This is like saying, “don’t think of a white elephant!” How can you help but think about possible discrimination or retaliation?

We know wellness messages should be relevant, concise and motivating.The EEOC example is anything but concise including:

What can you do?
Re-evaluate your program. Why are you collecting biometric measurements from screenings and health information from assessments? Are you using this information in a way that is valuable to your program such as:

While the above are best practice and helpful, the hard truth is that most wellness programs that include screenings and assessments don’t do a whole lot with the information/ aggregate results besides award incentives. Screenings are usually the highest per participant cost of anything in your program. Now that this EEOC notification is casting a shadow, why not consider an alternative approach to wellness/ well-being?

Inspired Perspectives can help you hone your message, re-evaluate your program and integrate resources to drive engagement vs. participation while improving life satisfaction that benefits employees and employers.