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Protecting Your Rights in the Workplace

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Genetic Discrimination Attorneys in Long Island and New York City

Employers have more information available than ever before when it comes to employees and potential new hires. But with all this new data comes questions about what is ethical when considering hiring someone new.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in 2009. While the Act has been challenging to interpret for both employees and employers, the Law Offices of Vincent P. White can help you understand GINA and its applications.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in New York

GINA was enacted to make it illegal for employers to make hiring decisions based on an applicant’s genetic information. That may include a family medical history or other genetic information that could be used against a potential employee. The law states that a company cannot ask for the history of the applicant nor can they ask a third-party company to obtain the information for them.

The EEOC Genetic Discrimination Lawsuit

GINA was first used in a discrimination case in 2013, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a suit. In the case, an Oklahoma woman had been offered full time employment; however, the offer was retracted when the company found out that the potential employee may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

The company to which the woman was applying mandated a drug test and physical. Through these tests and the applicant’s family medical history, the company was made aware of the risk of the disease.

The results from the third-party testing company that first performed the drug test and reviewed the medical history found the results inconclusive. She was also not found to have carpal tunnel syndrome by her own physician. The hiring company’s physician found results that contradicted the other two. At this point, the company rescinded their offer to the Oklahoma woman, which was a violation of GINA.

EEOC’s lawsuit elicited a quick response from the violating company. They reached a settlement in the amount of $50,000. Even more, the settlement helped to clear confusion around GINA. Employees and future employees have even more protections than before due to this precedent. And companies know that EEOC can use the Act to protect both current and potential employees.

Learn More About Federal Discrimination Law and GINA

If you feel you may have a case under GINA, the Law Offices of Vincent P. White can help. We practice employment law and are prepared to build discrimination cases on your behalf.

Contact us through phone or email to schedule a free initial consultation.