Genetic Discrimination

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Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) took effect on November 21, 2009. Under Title II of GINA it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

Genetic information for an individual or a family includes the following

  • Information about genetic tests and diseases or disorders
  • Individual's request for, or receipt of, genetic services
  • Participation in clinical research that includes genetic services
  • Genetic information of a fetus or a legally held embryo

An employer may never use genetic information to make any employment decision including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training and fringe benefits.  Genetic information is not relevant to an individual's current ability to work. The EEOC website contains additonal information on GINA.