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Financial incentives OK'd for workplace wellness programs

In a victory for business, federal regulators said Thursday that employers can continue to use financial penalties and rewards to nudge staff to participate in fast-growing workplace wellness programs. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — which enforces laws against discrimination — also proposed some safeguards for employees. Those include limits on the size of financial incentives, confidentiality of employee medical information and prohibitions against firing workers who decline to participate or denying them access to the company health plan. Financial incentives can range as high as 30 percent of the cost of premiums for employee-only coverage, the...

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