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Final Regulations of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Issued by EEOC

November 17, 2010

In a recent post, our Riverside labor and employment lawyers reported on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008--that bans employers from discriminating against employees based on their genetic makeup and information, and the use of this genetic information by providers of health insurance.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced earlier this month, on November 9, that after a unanimous vote by the Commission, the EEOC issued final regulations that implement the employment provisions of GINA (Title II)--prohibiting the use of genetic information to make decisions about employment, and restricting the disclosure and acquisition of genetic information.

Under Title I of GINA, an individual's genetic makeup and information is not allowed to be used against them by health insurers to deny health insurance coverage, and set insurance premiums or even deductibles. Under Title II of GINA, it is against the law for employers to act in a discriminatory way against employees based on genetic makeup or information, and to make employment decisions based on this genetic information including hiring, promoting, compensating, and firing. Under GINA, the employer's accessibility to an individual's genetic information is limited--it is illegal to force employees to provide genetic information about family medical history, and genetic testing is not allowed.

As our Orange County, California labor and employment lawyers discussed in a blog, genetic information is defined as the genetic testing and medical history of an individual's family, as well as the information about an individual's genetic testing. Any condition, disease, or disorder of an individual's family member is considered genetic information, as it is used to examine and determine the possibility of whether someone in the family could be "at-risk" for developing a potential medical or health issue in the future.

According to the EEOC's press release, Title II of GINA represents the first extension of the Commission's jurisdiction since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

In Orange County, California, contact our employment attorneys and professionals at Howard Law, PC today.

EEOC Issues Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Final Regulations, EEOC Press Release, November 9, 2010

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC): Genetic Information Discrimination

Historic Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Takes Effect, EEOC Press Release, November 20, 2009

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)