The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSSA) says that a new law signed by Gov.
Asa Hutchinson on March 5 requires Arkansas employers to give workers the opportunity to opt out of workplace wellness programs that they may have previously signed up for.
OHSSA says that under the new law, employers will be required to provide employees with the option to opt-out of the health care program by signing up for a health care provider who will certify that a participant has chosen to do so.
Employers must provide a copy of that certification to employees within 15 days of the beginning of the employee’s first workday.
The agency says that the opt-outs will apply only to health care providers who have the authority to administer health care services.
The opt-in will apply to employees who have worked in Arkansas for three years or less, or are employed at least 20 hours per week for less than six months.
The OHSCA also said that the new legislation will not apply to people who are not covered by the OHS Act or a state or local health care plan, and the law does not extend coverage to those who do not have insurance.
Employers must comply with all requirements of the new statute, which takes effect July 1, according to OHSTA.
The law requires that health care professionals report suspected or documented violations of workplace safety and health and safety rules to the agency.
Employees who are employed by a health facility, or other entity that provides health care, may opt out by completing a form with the employer and showing their employer has the authority.
Employer must report violations to OHA and notify agencyIf an employee opts out of the wellness program, OHSHA will investigate and take corrective action to ensure compliance with the new laws.
If an employee is found to have committed a violation, OHA will suspend the employer’s health care license and the employer must notify the OHA.
The new law does allow for a one-year grace period in which an employer may choose to reinstate the health plan that the employee previously had, the OHSA says.OHSTA says the OHO Act also does not apply when an employee enrolls in an alternative health plan, or an employer provides health insurance to a worker’s spouse or child who is not covered under a state plan.