EEOC Reaches Settlement on First GINA Lawsuit
Founders Pavilion, Inc., a former Corning, N.Y. nursing and rehabilitation center, will pay $370,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced, marking the first such settlement in history.
The EEOC charged that Founders Pavilion requested family medical history as part of its post-offer, pre-employment medical exams of applicants. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), passed by Congress in 2008 and enforced by the EEOC, prevents employers from requesting genetic information or making employment decisions based on genetic information.
The EEOC also alleged that Founders Pavilion fired two employees because they were perceived to be disabled, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the suit, Founders Pavilion also refused to hire or fired three women because they were pregnant, in violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of N.Y. (EEOC v. Founders Pavilion, Inc., 13-CV-01438), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The EEOC advised: "Employers should take heed of this settlement because there are real consequences to asking applicants or employee[s] for their family medical history."
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