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Experienced New York Employment Lawyers Supporting Wellness Program Rights of Employees

Take charge of your rights to participate in employer-sponsored wellness programs

More and more employers have begun to offer voluntary wellness programs to employees in addition to health insurance coverage. These employer-sponsored wellness programs vary greatly from case to case. Many involve tracking a participant’s steps, exercise and eating habits, while others are focused on making healthy lifestyle choices such as smoking cessation. At Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, PLLC, our New York employment lawyers are committed to helping employees enjoy access to wellness programs they are entitled to. Our knowledge of these programs and the laws governing them allows us to help you understand your rights and explore legal options when those rights have been infringed upon.

Employers are responsible for providing fair and secure access to wellness programs

Whatever type of wellness program an employer chooses to offer, they have the responsibility to adhere to specific guidelines during the implementation and administration of the plan.

Under state and federal laws governing wellness programs, employers cannot:

  • Use health information against employees: State law prohibits employers from using any information gathered from an application or participation in wellness programs. This includes data related to age, medical conditions, lifestyle habits and more. Use of this information for any reason outside of the wellness program’s administration is prohibited.

  • Deny participation for health reasons: Employer-sponsored wellness programs must be open to all employees, regardless of medical condition or age. Refusing an employee participation based on health-related issues may leave the employer open to legal liabilities.

  • Require a surcharge: While it is possible for employers to require employees to pay for participation in a wellness program, it is illegal to impose an additional surcharge based on a health condition. This means that an employer cannot require an employee to pay more than his or her coworkers because of a medical condition or lifestyle choices.

  • Mandate participation: Employee participation wellness programs offered by an employer must be completely voluntary. Employers cannot take adverse action against an employee for declining participation for any reason.

  • Share health-related information: Any and all health-related information gathered during the application process for a wellness program is protected. Employers cannot share this data with any party without the employee’s written consent.

Violations or ignorance of any of these legal guidelines may leave the employer open to legal action by an affected employee. Should an employer found guilty of discrimination or illegal distribution of medical information, they may be liable for damages incurred by the employee or employees involved in the case.

Discuss your wellness program concerns during a free consultation with one of our New York employment lawyers

If you have been denied participation in an employer-sponsored wellness program because of a medical issue, you may have legal options. At Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, our New York employment law attorneys take great care to help you understand your rights and the options you have for pursuing legal resolutions to your wellness program disputes. To schedule a free consultation with one of our New York employment lawyers, contact us online or call 212-545-1199 today.





Contact an employment law attorney in New York today for a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a case. For a free initial consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.

CALL US TODAY! 212-545-1199