Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Compensation for Time Spent Participating in Voluntary Wellness Activities

On August 28, 2018, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter regarding whether the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires an employer to pay employees for their time spent participating in various wellness activities. This particular employer who sought the opinion letter offered decreased health insurance deductibles and premiums to employees who participated in a biometric screening, health education classes, health coaching, use the gym, or attend a health fair. The opinion letter noted that even though the employer offered financial incentives related to the employee’s cost of health coverage, the employer did not make the wellness activities “mandatory,” the activities were not related to the employees’ jobs, and that it was the employee’s choice whether to participate. The opinion letter also noted that the employer did not receive any direct financial benefit from employee participation in the wellness activities. Read More