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Employee Benefit Adviser Quotes Kirsten Stewart in Article Regarding Wellness Program Lawsuit

September 11, 2017 – Employee Benefit Advisor quotes Sherman & Howard Employee Benefits attorney, Kirsten Stewart in “Without Clarity, Wellness Incentive Goes up in Smoke.”

In the lawsuit, Acosta v. Macy’s Inc., the Department of Labor is suing Macy’s for mismanagement of the tobacco cessation program in Macy’s employee wellness plan by failing to meet the requirements for reasonable alternative standards.  Macy’s only waived the wellness program surcharge for people who became tobacco free and did not adequately communicate the program details to employees, directing them to HR for details.

According to Kirsten Stewart, “Simply allowing someone to participate in a smoking cessation program would qualify as an RAS” and needs to provide “all employees, regardless of health status, the opportunity to earn a reward for achieving modified health goals.” Any program alternatives need to be “reasonably accessible and offered at no charge”, Kirsten says, acknowledging that “it takes a lot of the teeth out of the program, but it is necessary under the federal requirements.”

To read the full article click here.