Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act – Employment Law Updates

Earlier this month the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations under Title II of the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). With renewed interest in the topic, we’ve compiled a reading list of GINA-related updates recently posted by law firms on JD Supra.

(Also see last year’s GINA employment law update for an introduction to the Act.)

For your reference:

EEOC Issues Final Regulations Regarding Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (by Duane Morris):

“Title II of GINA prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic
information of employees and their family members. GINA prohibits
employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information
from or about an individual or an individual’s family members.
The final regulations take a broad and expansive view of this
prohibition. For instance, the regulations make clear that an employer
may violate GINA without a specific intent to acquire genetic
information. Further, the regulations broadly interpret the term
“request” to include…” Read more>>

EEOC Issues Final GINA Regulations (by Ford & Harrison LLP):

“While it’s unlikely that employers are genetically screening applicants
to create a workforce of “employees of the month,” the implementation
of the new regulations raises questions about some common employer
practices that could be viewed as violating GINA. Following is a
general discussion of the way certain issues likely would be addressed
under the new regulations…” Read more>>

EEOC Issues Final Regulations for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (by Poyner Spruill LLP):

“…employers are not permitted to use genetic information in making
employment decisions, including health benefits. In addition, the
EEOC’s regulations broadly define “request” for genetic information to
include such actions as conducting an internet search on an individual
that is likely to result in the discovery of genetic information and
actively listening to third-party conversations with the intent of
obtaining genetic information.” Read more>>

EEOC Issues Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Final Regulations (by Lane Powell PC):

Includes a look at social media implications: “…an employer would not violate GINA by reading a news article detailing an employee’s struggle with cancer, because GINA already exempts material found in newspapers, magazines, periodicals and books. Where access is limited to individuals or requires membership in specific groups, the material will not be considered “commercially and publicly available.” Accordingly, information acquired from social networking sites will most likely not fall within the exemption for ‘commercially and publicly available’ information…” Read more>>

Have You Met GINA? (by Miller & Martin PLLC):

“The GINA applies to all employers who have at least 15 employees as
well as employment agencies and labor organizations. It prohibits
employers not only from using genetic information to discriminate
against or harass employees or applicants, but from even requesting
such information, except in the limited circumstances described below.
In the specific instances where it is “OK” to request genetic
information, it still must be kept confidential and cannot be used to
discriminate against or harass the individual…” Read more>>

Final Rules for the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 or Have I Been Dreaming of GINA? (by Gregory Stobbe):

“So what, you say, does this have to do with my responsibilities as an employer? I don’t conduct any genetic testing or forensic DNA analysis.That may be so, but do you ever request information from healthcare providers in connection with an employee’s request for FMLA leave? How about trying to understand the nature of a disability under the ADA? Similarly, if your organization sponsors a wellness program, you should be aware of the questions you can no longer ask. This includes in most cases, asking medical history questions relating to ‘family members’… ” Read more>>

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