Genetic Nondiscrimination Law Affects Many Work Practices

Take steps now to avoid running afoul of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits discrimination in health coverage and employment on the basis of genetic information. Title II addresses discrimination in employment, and prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information about employees, and from using genetic information for hiring, firing or promotion decisions, and for any decisions regarding terms of employment.

Since the term “genetic information” is defined broadly, it’s important that employers understand the many situations in which GINA can apply. Final regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide guidance on this.

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Warn Your Managers – EEOC is Now Sending Notice of Charges via Email

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. exclamation-311742_1280 These laws protect employees and job applicants against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that the employee needs because of religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because the employee complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The EEOC reports receiving about 90,000 new complaints each year.  To handle these complaints, the EEOC created the Action Council for Transformation to a Digital Charge System (ACT Digital) to develop a set of online applications for use by the public.

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