Chicago Workers Argue Against City’s Bid to Dismiss Wellness Plan Suit

The city of Chicago has asked an Illinois federal district court judge to dismiss a suit filed by six city employees, challenging a wellness program within the city’s health insurance plan. The employees have argued against the dismissal, saying that the city’s argument for dismissal is based on a dispute over voluntariness, which is an issue that is unresolvable on a motion to dismiss. The case is Williams et al. v. City of Chicago, case number 1:20-cv-00420, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

The city workers filed suit in January 2020, claiming that the wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). They allege that the program requires them to undergo medical testing and disclose their spouses’ medical histories in violation of the ADA and GINA. According to the workers, their participation in the wellness program is involuntary, which means that they must submit to medical exams and provide medical history in violation of federal law. The city requires them to pay an additional $50 per month in insurance premiums if they fail to participate in the program.

The city filed a motion to dismiss in response to the suit, arguing that its wellness program is completely voluntary. The city characterizes the $50 increased monthly insurance premium as a financial incentive rather than a penalty for non-participation. It argues that financial incentives for wellness programs are lawful and not violative of the ADA or GINA.

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

The following two tabs change content below.

Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.
%d bloggers like this: