Briggs and Morgan
Michael J. Moberg
April 2 2012
The Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2008 and it prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees. While the law became effective in 2009, many employers are still unaware of GINA and what it requires. Here are some tips to help employers comply with GINA:
Do Not Use Genetic Information for Employment Decisions: GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, wages, promotions, layoffs, work assignments, benefits, and the like. As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated, “An employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information is not relevant to an individual’s current ability to work.”
Avoid Asking Questions About an Employee’s or Applicant’s Medical History: Genetic information that is covered by GINA generally includes any information about a genetic test for a person or the person’s family members. Employers need to be aware that an individual’s medical history is considered protected genetic information.
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