Under terms of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), employment decisions cannot be based on a person’s genetic information or family history of genetic markers in disease and disability.
The law went into effect Nov. 21, 2009, and already the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has received 80-plus complaint filings–and this despite the fact that GINA regulations are still forthcoming.
A Connecticut woman named Pamela Fink illustrates how a GINA claim can develop.
Ms. Fink claims she received positive performance reviews just prior to testing positive for the breast cancer gene. By the time she had gotten a preventive double mastectomy and returned to work, her supervisors had begun diminishing her workload and giving her negative performance evaluations. That was in the fall and winter of 2009. She was terminated and her position eliminated this March.
Her case is now before the EEOC.
Employers, be prepared to observe the letter and spirit of GINA, or you could end up in costly regulatory and legal proceedings like this Connecticut firm. Get a copy of Personnel Concepts’ Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Compliance Kit today and put the proper policies and procedures in place.