What to do if my employer has added a wellness goal to our yearly evaluations and if your goals are not met you are not eligible for a yearly bonus?

Examples are joining a gym or participating in an after hours activity that is unpaid. I have a number of illlnesses, don’t smoke and don’t need to lose weight. Is this even legal?

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is legal:

1) First, bear in mind that the law does  not require bonuses; since they are voluntary on the part of employers, employers can set terms and conditions on what it takes to qualify for them.

2) Second, an employer cannot discriminate against somone based on a medical disability, but can require the employee to affirmatively engage in wellness-related activity. Requiring someone to join a gym, for example, would be legal, since even employees with disabilities could join a gym and engage in appropriate activities.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.