The Honeywell Corporation required its employees to submit to mandatory medical testing or be subject to up to a $4,000 penalty. The testing program screens employees and spouses for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood-sugar levels, waist circumference and nicotine. The penalty for refusing the test would come in the form of surcharges and lost contributions to health insurance premiums. The EEOC filed the suit and seeks an injunction against the mandatory testing; the suit also claims that the mandatory testing violates the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, known as GINA.
The company's rationale for the mandatory testing is as follows: "Honeywell wants its employees to be well informed about their health status not only because it promotes their wellbeing, but also because we don't believe it's fair to the employees who do work to lead healthier lifestyles to subsidize the healthcare premiums for those who do not."
The problem that Honeywell's program has raised is its mandatory and penal components. The EEOC has made clear that voluntary -- voluntary meaning the employee is neither required to participate nor penalized for not participating -- corporate wellness programs including the type of testing at issue in Honeywell's program are permissible and comply with the ADA. See the EEOC's Enforcement Guidance: Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
Lexington, Kentucky ADA lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in cases under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA); contact him at 859-254-7076.