EEOC Issues Regulations Interpreting The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act 2008

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On May 21, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA") into law. As many know, advances in medical technology have made it possible to perform genetic tests to determine if an individual may be at risk of developing a disease or a disorder due to their genetic makeup. GINA was passed in order to prevent the potential misuse of such genetic information by prohibiting employers or health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals based on their genetic information.

On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued its final regulations interpreting the employment provisions of GINA. GINA generally prohibits an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or training program from discriminating against an individual because of genetic information. GINA, however, goes beyond simply outlawing discrimination and makes it illegal for an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or training program, with several minor exceptions, to "request, require, or purchase genetic information."

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