The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently settled its first discrimination lawsuit based on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), but in truth, it came upon the triggering violation almost by accident.

When Rhonda Jones filed a charge with the EEOC based upon a rescinded-job-offer violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the EEOC looked into the matter and discovered that Jones not only had been subjected to a medical exam, which wrongly determined that she had carpal tunnel syndrome, but also had been forced to answer a questionnaire that delved into her family's medical history, a clear violation of GINA.

Without admitting any violations of either the ADA or GINA, the accused company — Fabricut of Oklahoma — agreed to pay Jones $50,000 and initiate training of all management and human resources personnel on GINA and the ADA, as well as discontinue the questionnaire. Henceforth, Fabricut will only refer applicants to post-offer health assessments in compliance with all laws.

To understand all the nuances and prohibitions of GINA, please procure and refer to a copy of Personnel Concepts' comprehensive Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Compliance Kit.