Despite great progress in recent years, stigma surrounding epilepsy continues to fuel discrimination and islates people with epilepsy from the mainstream of life. Epilepsy can be a formidable barrier to educational opportunities, employment, and personal fulfillment among people with epilepsy of all ages.
The Epilepsy Foundation is committed to defending and expanding civil rights laws that ensure protections for people with epilepsy, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Workforce Investment Act.
Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, H.R. 1313
On March 8, 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter to the House Committee on Education and Workforce, expressing our strong opposition to H.R. 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, a bill that would exempt employer-based wellness programs from genetic nondiscrimination provisions in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination ACT (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Under current law, employers cannot impose penalties on employees who choose not to disclose their genetic information. However, H.R. 1313 would allow employers to condition discounts or payment on insurance premiums on the disclosure of such information as part of participation in employee wellness programs. This could result in a loss of up to several thousand dollars per year for an employee. This structure could essentially coerce employees into revealing their private genetic information, and make it easier for employees to discriminate based on employee genetic factors. Read our advocacy efforts on this bill below.
EF-CCD Letter of Opposition - H.R. 1313 (March 8, 2017)