The Department of Labor (DOL) recently opined that employers do not need to compensate employees for time spent on voluntary wellness activities. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), time spent doing such activities are non-compensable.
Wellness activities include:
- Participating in biometric screenings, where participation in the screening may decrease an employee's health insurance deductible
- Attending an in-person health education class and lecture (e.g., nutrition or diabetes management)
- Taking an employer-facilitated gym class or using the employer-provided gym
- Participating in telephonic health coaching and online health education classes through an outside vendor facilitated by the employer
- Participating in Weight Watchers
- Voluntarily engaging in a fitness activity (e.g., going to personal gym, exercising outdoors, participating in a Fitbit challenge)
- Attending a benefits fair to learn about topics such as financial planning, employer-provided benefits, or college attendance opportunities
These activities are not required and not related to the employee's job, and it is the employee's choice whether to participate. Because these activities "predominantly benefit the employee, they do not constitute compensable worktime under the FLSA [...] regardless of whether the activities occur on-site or during regular working hours."