Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

Put this subject on your watch list…

This act charges the EEOC with  issuing finalized regulations by November 21, 2009.

Bush signed it. Ted Kennedy acclaimed it.

Bush signed it. Ted Kennedy acclaimed it.

These regulations have not yet been finalized, despite the claims of purveyors of employment law posters who insist that you need  a new poster…

Title I of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits discrimination based on genetic information in health coverage and employment. Title II prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information. Title III  contains  numerous miscellaneous provisions including updates to child labor laws as well as establishing penalties.

The law requires full compliance by employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor unions, joint labor-management training programs, and all federal employers. GINA also updates language from ‘Handicap’ and ‘Handicaps’ to ‘Disability’ and ‘Disabilities’ in the existing EEOC code. This law extends HIPAA protections to genetic information.   Ted Kennedy called it “”the first civil rights bill of the new century of the life sciences.”

The implementing regulations from EEOC are not out yet, but here are some ‘tools you can use’ to prepare for the upcoming rules in November:

Fact sheet.

Final version.

As a .pdf.

Final note: If your health or wellness plan pays or incentivizes employees to submit a family history, that is likely to change!

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