California Adopts Genetic Anti-Discrimination Protections


California Senate Bill 559 (“SB 559”), which expands state civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination based on genetic information, has been signed into law by Governor Brown.

SB 559 adopts the philosophy of the federal Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”), which prohibits discrimination in employment and health insurance coverage decisions based on genetic information. However, the California bill offers broader protection than GINA by prohibiting discrimination based on genetic information in the additional areas of housing, business services, emergency medical services, licensing qualifications, life insurance coverage, mortgage lending, and participation in state-funded or state-administered programs. This client alert will focus primarily on changes affecting California employers.

The bill amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to prohibit employment and housing decisions based on genetic information. FEHA, as amended, also prohibits licensing boards from requiring any qualification based on genetic information, unless the practice is demonstrably job-related. In addition, SB 559 amends the Unruh Civil Rights Act to prohibit unequal access to accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services provided by business establishments based on genetic information.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morrison & Foerster LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Morrison & Foerster LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.