EEOC Settles GINA Discrimination Case

Previant Law Firm

In 2009, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was enacted to prevent discrimination based upon genetic conditions in employment. The EEOC filed suit against Fabricut, Inc., when the employer subjected a new employee to a medical exam after offering her employment and before beginning work. During the exam, she was required to complete a questionnaire that included a number of questions about her family medical history. The offer of employment was rescinded following the exam. The case is the first one that the EEOC filed under GINA and was settled. Following settlement, the EEOC General Counsel noted that “GINA prohibits requesting family medical history.”

GINA prohibits an employer from using genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information is not relevant to an individual’s current ability to work. “Under GINA, it is also unlawful for employers to request, require, or purchase an applicant’s or employee’s genetic information. This means that employers must tell their health care providers that they cannot ask about family medical history when conducting post-offer or fitness-for-duty examinations.” Additional information is available here.