As you may have heard, employers nationwide must now comply with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which went into effect last week.
What does this mean for employers? Well, in short, it means you cannot discriminate against someone (in hiring, firing, pay, promotion or benefits) based on genetic information that you may gather. It also limits the gathering of such information. This law touches upon several other laws, including the leave laws and disability laws.
For most employers, this law will not have an appreciable effect on how you conduct business, but you need to be aware of it and revise your employment policies and practices accordingly. For the employers who are involved in the public health sector or otherwise routinely collect biological samples from employees, this adds another level of potential traps — the law does carve out exceptions for duties and information required under the FMLA or ADA, but it may now be more confusing than ever how you are supposed to navigate these already tricky laws.
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