Bill creates incentives for workplace wellness programs

Washington – A new Senate bill seeks to reduce illnesses and health care costs through preventive measures such as workplace wellness programs.

Under the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America Act (S. 39), introduced Jan. 22 by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), employers would receive tax credits if they offer “comprehensive workplace wellness” programs to employees. They also would be able to deduct the cost of athletic facility membership for their workers and exempt it as taxable income for employees, according to a press release from Harkin’s office.

The bill would require workplaces on federal property to provide bicycle parking, guideline development for stair placement and signage, and menu labeling in food facilities, as well as nutritional guideline development for vending machines.

At press time, the bill had been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

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