EEOC Issues Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Final Regulations

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Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA") prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information. Title II became effective on November 21, 2009. Nearly one year later, on November 9, 2010, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued final regulations under Title II of GINA. Highlights of the new regulations, which will become effective on January 10, 2011, are summarized below, along with best practices for employers.

The Final Regulation Illustrates How an Employer May Violate GINA by Broadly "Requesting" Genetic Information

GINA bars covered entities, including employers, from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information regarding an individual or family member of an individual. "Genetic information" is defined as an individual's genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual's family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual's family members (i.e., family medical history). In further defining the term "request," the final regulation explains that an employer may violate GINA by...

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