The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is stepping up enforcement of the limits on permissible wellness incentives. For example, Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. agreed to pay a $14,563.50 penalty and return a total of $145,635 in tobacco surcharges to employees who originally had to pay them (Acosta v. Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-02993-JRS-MJD (S.D. Ind., settled Nov. 29, 2018)).
The wellness program rules issued in 2006 and amended in 2013 by the DOL and other agencies allow financial incentives (positive or negative) of up to 50 percent of coverage costs to discourage tobacco use.