Genetic Discrimination (GINA)

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    Employer Genetic Discrimination

    The law forbids discrimination on the basis of genetic information when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, or any other term or condition of employment. An employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information is not relevant to an individual's current ability to work.

    A disability, trait, or illness is often the result of a genetic condition. If you have evidence that a genetic condition is the cause of your need for a reasonable accommodation, you can bring a claim under the Fair Housing and Employment Act for discrimination based on genetics (GINA). This claim is often brought alongside a disability discrimination claim, or medical leave violation claim, and helps to shed light on the fact that you should not be punished or treated differently because of your genetic makeup. These claims typically require (though not always) medical tests that show the genetic condition. If you have knowledge of a genetic condition you have and think you are experiencing discrimination at work in connection with that condition, call the employment attorneys at Potter Handy, Employment Rights Law Firm.

    Harassment Because of Genetic Information

    Under GINA, it is also illegal to harass a person because of his or her genetic information. Harassment can include, for example, making offensive or derogatory remarks about an applicant or employee’s genetic information, or about the genetic information of a relative of the applicant or employee. Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area of the workplace, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee, such as a client or customer.

    Retaliation

    Under GINA, it is illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against an applicant or employee for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding (such as a discrimination investigation or lawsuit), or otherwise opposing discrimination.

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    What is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)?

    Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) is a federal law that prohibits genetic information discrimination in both the workplace and insurance coverage decisions. The law took effect on November 21, 2009. GINA expressly prohibits an employer from engaging in the following unlawful behaviors:

    • Harassing workers or job applicants due to genetic information
    • Discriminating against workers or job applicants due to genetic information
    • Requesting, requiring, purchasing, or disclosing genetic information (though there are some exceptions)
    • Using genetic information to make employment decisions (e.g. refusing to hire someone, refusing to promote an employee, demoting an employee, laying off an employee, paying an employee less, terminating an employee, etc.)

    We cannot list all "Genetic Discrimination" violations, please contact us today for an initial case evaluation. You will speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your situation. You will receive information concerning your particular matter and you can evaluate whether our attorney fits your needs and comfort level.

    Contact us today at (800) 383-7027