Complying With the New GINA Regulations


On November 9, 2010 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued the final regulations for enforcing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), originally signed into law on May 21, 2008 by President George W. Bush. To comply with GINA, we recommend employers do the following:

o Update all non-discriminatory policies to reflect that discrimination on the basis of genetic information is prohibited.

o Post the EEOC's new equal employment opportunity poster referring to GINA.

o Treat any genetic information, which includes family medical history, that is obtained as confidential medical information and do not include it in personnel files.

o When providing Family and Medical Leave Act forms for the employee's own medical condition or Americans with Disability Act forms, include the safe harbor language specified in the statute, which says:

"The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. 'Genetic information' as defined by GINA includes an individual's family medical history, the results of an individual's or family member's genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual's family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual's family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services."

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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.

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