by Frank P. Spada Jr., Esq.

Final regulations for implementing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect on Jan. 10, prohibiting employers from gathering genetic information when seeking to certify an employee’s own serious health condition for leave under the FMLA.

GINA regulations apply to public and private employers with 15 or more workers. That means employers subject to the FMLA—those with 50 or more workers within 75 miles—are subject to GINA regulations.

Certification under the FMLA

Under the FMLA (and similar state laws) employers routinely ask an employee’s health care provider to complete a certification form justifying FMLA leave requests. That could create a GINA compliance problem, because the certification might reveal genetic information about the employee.

However, the EEOC has created a “safe harbor” for employers if they tell health care providers not to divulge protected genetic inf...(register to read more)

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