GINA has broader impact on employers than previously thought

Overheard from the HRidiot: “GINA may have a broader impact for employers. Of course, you find this out after buying 25 Genetic Testing At Home kits.”

When the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) passed, few employers were worried. After all, how many companies actually perform genetic tests on employees and applicants?

Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now is that the impact on employers is very real. Genetic information is not only defined as genetic tests, but also includes information that could be gathered through casual conversation. That means if an employee mentions a mother with Alzheimers or offers up personal medical information after you ask “How are you today?” that knowledge could put you at risk.

Of course, we’re not suggesting that you stop talking to your employees about their health, but you do need to be aware of how easy it could be for an employee to make a claim that an adverse employment action was based on the company’s knowledge of genetic information. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) now has a “genetic information” check box on their Charge of Discrimination form which will only makes filing this kind of discrimination claim easier.

Get the whole story by reading “New Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Regulations present pitfalls” by clicking here.


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