Since laws prohibiting discrimination based on age, race, and gender receive most of the attention, it is easy to overlook similar laws that prevent discrimination based off genetic information. The federal law commonly known as “GINA” and its corresponding state laws combine to prohibit employers from using genetic information to make decisions in hiring, firing, promoting, pay, privileges or terms of employment. Genetic information includes all information relating to genetic tests of the employee and the employee’s family members, as well as information about diseases or disorders in the individual’s family medical history. An employer can take several precautions to avoid violating these laws, including updating its company’s discrimination policies, examining employment forms for certain prohibited questions, and using cautionary language when talking to employees about their health.
For an expanded article on tips for complying with GINA, please click here.
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