Obama administration to remove hurdle to 'wellness' penalties

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2015 12:11 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In what would be a significant and hard-fought victory for U.S. businesses, the Obama administration on Thursday announced that it will propose new rules for "workplace wellness programs" that would treat as "voluntary" programs that penalize workers thousands of dollars for not participating.

That decision, which will be published in the Federal Register on April 20, opening 60 days for public comment, would likely remove a legal challenge to the wellness program at Honeywell International Inc.

Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a legal challenge to the Honeywell program, arguing that penalties that could reach $4,000 a year for workers who chose not to participate made the program involuntary.

(Reporting by Sharon Begley)