Court Rejects EEOC’s Attempt to Restrain Implementation of Wellness Program

We previously wrote about two recent lawsuits in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) for implementing involuntary employee wellness programs.  (See  EEOC Asserts Employee Wellness Program Violates Americans with Disabilities Act  and EEOC Files Second Lawsuit Alleging Wellness Program Violates Americans with Disabilities Act).  Well, last week another case was filed by the EEOC.  This time, though, the EEOC asked a court to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent Honeywell from implementing an incentive program planned for 2015 that would entail biometric testing, which would result in a $125 per month health insurance premium reduction for employees.

On November 3rd, the court rejected the EEOC’s request for a temporary restraining order, which means that Honeywell’s planned program can go forward in 2015.  The court expressed no opinion on whether the plan violated the ADA and GINA.  The case will still go forward, and the court will have to address the merits of the EEOC’s claim.

Honeywell criticized the Chicago EEOC Office in a statement, asserting that the EEOC is “unfamiliar with the details of our wellness programs and woefully out of step with the healthcare marketplace and with the core intent of the Affordable Care Act to provide expanded access and improved health care to all Americans.”