Ever heard of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act?
Well you should. A Federal Jury awarded an employee 2.25 million dollars for a violation of the Act. GINA prohibits discrimination against healthy individuals for employment decisions or health insurance purposes on the basis of genetic information alone; it also prevents employers and insurance providers from demanding or using information from genetic tests. A federal court awarded massive damages to two warehouse employees from Georgia whose employer had asked them to provide cheek swab DNA samples. Their employer, Atlas Logistics Group Retail Services, was attempting to discover who had been pooping in the grocery distribution warehouse by comparing DNA.
GINA also prohibits other less invasive activities such as internet searches, eavesdropping, asking personal health related questions or searching personal belongings for the purposes of finding or eliciting information that is likely to elicit genetic information about an employee. In fact employers are prohibited by GINA from inquiring about a family history of disease. GINA’s scope is very broad so keep an eye out for a snooping employers trying to find genetic information about their employees. In El Paso, Texas and Las Cruses, New Mexico employment lawyers and employees should be on the lookout for violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). A simple question about what is an employees family history of disease may be a violation