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Federal Judge Denies EEOC’s Petition for Temporary Restraining Order; Allows Employer to Penalize Employees Who Decline to Participate in Employee Wellness Program

Written by Gauri Punjabi

Last week, we blogged about the EEOC’s recent litigations involving employee wellness programs, including the Honeywell case where the EEOC sought to prohibit Honeywell from penalizing employees who decline to participate in the company’s wellness program.  On Monday, a Minnesota federal district court judge denied the EEOC’s TRO application, striking an initial blow to the EEOC’s attempts to impose restrictions on such programs.

Many employers across the country have implemented employee wellness programs to incentivize their employees to lead more healthy lives, which in turn help a company’s bottom line.  The EEOC has not sought a blanket ban on such programs, but has taken the position that programs which unfairly penalize employees for declining to participate violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The court has promised to supplement its denial with a written order.  Once we have that order in hand we will update this post accordingly.

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