Today’s repeat guest, Barbara Zabawa, owns the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries. She is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association.

In today’s interview we address two things. One is her advice for what employers should do now that as of January 2019 there will be no guidance as to what amount of incentive (if any) will meet the ADA’s requirement of being voluntary.

The second topic we cover is an opinion letter issued by the Department of Labor about whether the Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employer to pay employees for their time spent participating in wellness activities.

Vote me in to next year’s WELCOA Summit Intensive session! Until November 30th, you can vote for the Intensive sessions you want to see at WELCOA’s 2019 Summit. My session is titled “Next Generation Wellness: From Theory to Practice” can be found HERE.

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • There’s no dollar amount recommendation for your wellness incentive to be “legal” in 2019 [6:17]
  • A proposed rule may be in by June but the EEOC is not making any promises. They aren’t fully staffed at this point which may be the cause for the delay. [7:09]
  • What employers have as guidance – voluntary in accordance with ADA and GINA [8:50]
  • The ramifications of putting a high amount of money at stake for wellness incentives [13:52]
  • The Department of Labor opinion letter on paying employees to participate in wellness programs [18:08]
Mentioned in this episode:

Barbara’s prior interview

Department of Labor opinion letter

www.wellnesslaw.com

 

Full Bio:

Barbara J. Zabawa is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Administration where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health law and compliance, US health care delivery and health professions career development. Barbara also owns the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries.

Barbara is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association.  She is a frequent writer and speaker on health and wellness law topics, having presented for national organizations such as WELCOA, National Wellness Institute, HPLive, Healthstat University and HERO.

Before graduating with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School, she obtained an MPH degree from the University of Michigan.  Immediately prior to starting her own firm, she was Associate General Counsel and HIPAA Privacy Officer for a large health insurer where she advised on Affordable Care Act matters. She was also a shareholder and Health Law Team Leader at a large Wisconsin law firm.

Barbara serves health and wellness professionals and organizations across the country as an advocate, a transactional lawyer and a compliance resource.  Her commitment to improving health and wellness also shows through her community service.  Barbara sits on the Board of Directors for Health Promotion Advocates, a national nonprofit organization created to integrate health promotion into the national agenda.  She also is a Board Member for the Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation, a health care organization that specializes in treating mental illness and she chairs the State Bar of Wisconsin Health Law Section.

Barbara is licensed to practice law in both Wisconsin and New York.