In our January 16, 2012 edition of Legal News: Employment Law Update, we discussed companies’ numerous obligations with respect to employee recordkeeping. On February 12, 2012, the EEOC added another set of requirements into the mix, issuing its final recordkeeping rules for the Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act (GINA).Continue reading this entry
The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in May 2008 and became effective in November 2009. Title II of GINA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees, unions, employment agencies, and joint apprenticeship programs from discriminating against an individual based on his or her “genetic information.” Genetic information under GINA includes an individual’s family medical history, an individual’s participation in genetic testing, counseling, or education, and (perhaps most obviously) the results of genetic testing of an employee or his or her family members.
On November 8, 2010, the EEOC issued final regulations interpreting the federal Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing an individual’s genetic information or using genetic information to make employment decisions. The new regulations, which will take effect in approximately 60 days, clarify several of GINA’s definitions and provide additional information regarding GINA’s six exceptions to employer liability for obtaining genetic information. Among other things, the EEOC’s final regulations:
- State that when an employer asks its company doctor to complete a medical exam of an employee or applicant, the employer must explicitly instruct the doctor not to ask for genetic information, including information about the individual’s family history
- Set forth model language to be used by employers when requesting medical information from a third-party medical provider that warns the health care provider not to include data regarding genetic information with the response (This one is very important — make sure to update your forms or ask counsel about updating them)