Genetics might play a major role in overall health and wellness, but they have no bearing whatsoever on an individual’s ability to work. For this reason, workplace discrimination based on genetic information is prohibited by law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all employers disregard genetics when making decisions regarding hiring, promoting, and firing. If you think you were discriminated against because of your genetic makeup, you probably have a lot of questions on the subject. Here are the answers to a few of the most frequently asked ones to help you determine how best to proceed.
FAQ on Genetic Discrimination
What Constitutes Genetic Information?
Genetic information encompasses all kinds of data, including family medical history and the results of DNA testing. An individual’s participation in clinical studies that provide genetic services is also consider protected information.
Can Employers Ever Ask for Genetic Information?
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information; however, there are a few exceptions to GINA. For example, employers are not violating GINA if they obtain genetic information inadvertently, through voluntary wellness services they provide, or when complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
What Kind of Discrimination Is Prohibited Under GINA?
GINA prohibits any kind of workplace discrimination based on genetic information. In addition to hiring, firing, and promoting, this includes discriminating against employees when making decisions regarding training, compensation, job assignments, and fringe benefits. In other words, an employee’s genetic information cannot have any impact whatsoever on any term or condition of employment.
What Can I Do If My Employer Violates GINA?
If you were discriminated against because of genetic information, you have 180 days to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A seasoned attorney can assist with this claim and help you navigate the subsequent proceedings, which can vary depending on the circumstances.
If you were the victim of workplace discrimination, the legal team at Henry & Williams P.C. will help you achieve justice. Located in West Plains, MO, this law firm is proud to protect the rights of those who have suffered because of someone else’s wrongs. Their attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience fighting on behalf of clients in personal injury suits, workers’ compensation claims, and workplace discrimination cases. To reach out and request a free case evaluation, call (417) 256-8133 or fill out the contact form on their website.