For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) v. Flambeau, Inc. arguing that the EEOC does not have regulatory authority over wellness programs.
ERIC, the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, filed the brief jointly with the American Benefits Council, the HR Policy Association, and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.
“Wellness programs are a critical part of many large employer health plans,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “Wellness plans help to make health insurance more affordable and provide employers with valuable information that allows them to anticipate future healthcare costs, which can then be taken into consideration when designing and pricing future health care plans.”
ERIC asserts that the EEOC’s attempt to exercise regulatory authority over wellness plans is not authorized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and wellness program participants are already protected against discrimination under current law. The ADA exempts insurance from some of the ADA’s duplicative requirements, and wellness programs function as insurance under the ADA. Wellness programs are beneficial to both employers and employees, and the EEOC’s attempts to diminish and discourage wellness programs are contrary to statute.
“ERIC strongly urges the Circuit Court to uphold the District Court’s ruling and find in favor of Flambeau, Inc.,” said Guarisco Fildes.