ARE EMPLOYERS ALLOWED TO USE AN EMPLOYEE’S GENETIC INFORMATION TO MAKE EMPLOYMENT RELATED DECISIONS?
The simple answer is no. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), 42 U.S.C.A. §2000f, et seq., prohibits the use of genetic information in making decisions related to any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment (e.g. hiring, firing, and opportunities for advancement). GINA also restricts employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information, with limited exceptions, and generally requires covered employers to keep any genetic information they have about applicants or employees confidential, and prohibits retaliation. GINA defines “genetic information” as
1. Information about an individual’s genetic tests;
2. Information about the genetic tests of a family member;
3. Family medical history;
4. Requests for and receipt of genetic services by an individual or a family member; and
5. Genetic information about a fetus carried by an individual or family member or of an embryo legally held by the individual or family member using assisted reproductive technology. 29 C.F.R. §1635.2-3.
For more information regarding GINA or any other important federal statutes, please contact Robert Seybert at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the firm’s employment law attorneys at (402) 475-1075.