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AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C. Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission told a federal judge Tuesday it may take a “wait and see” approach to forming new corporate “wellness rules” and that the court does not have the power to force the agency to comply with any deadline, or direct the agency to adopt any new rules in the first place.

The AARP successfully challenged the EEOC’s set of rules that set out guidelines for programs that companies create to give financial or other incentives to employees to embrace healthy lifestyles. Employer wellness programs in many instances require employees to reveal personal health information.

In sending the case back to the agency, U.S. District Judge John Bates set deadlines for action. The EEOC, represented in court by the U.S. Department of Justice, on Tuesday argued against the timeline Bates issued. The Justice Department urged Bates to reconsider the timeline—and let the agency itself craft the next steps.

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