by Judith Bevis Langevin and Bryan Seiler, Esqs.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) took effect on Nov. 21, 2009. It was enacted in response to concerns that insurers and employers could use results of genetic testing to discriminate against applicants and employees.
Collection of genetic information
GINA makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer or other covered entity—such as a health insurance company—to “request, require or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee or family member of the employee.” (As used in the statute, the term “employee” includes applicants.)
There are limited exceptions:
- Inadvertent requests (the so-called “water cooler” exception)
- Employer-provided genetic services that keep results confidential
- Requests related to
- Information in purchased public documents such as newspaper obituaries
- Information gained as a result of monitori...(register to read more)