Psychology Today has an excellent article on this subject titled “Genes and Jobs.”
The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) comes into full effect this Saturday, November 21st.
Employers need to take note, and employees should be aware of their rights
Congress passed GINA almost unanimously, and President Bush signed it on May 21, 2008. Described by the late Senator Ted Kennedy as “the first civil rights bill of the new century of the life sciences,”
GINA protects individuals from genetic information discrimination in health insurance and employment
Even some well-informed commentators seem to have missed this landmark piece of legislation. So have some employers. The University of Akron (UA), for example, adopted a policy as recently as August that could require any candidate for employment to submit a DNA sample.
Read more about Genes and Jobs.
The Coalition for Genetic Fairness also gives the following guidelines for employers on how to comply with The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
GINA outlines the following activities as unlawful employment practices and discriminatory on the basis of genetic information:
- The use of genetic information in making decisions regarding hiring, promotion, terms or conditions, privileges of employment, compensation, or termination.
- Limiting, segregating, or classifying an employee, or depriving that employee of employment opportunities, on the basis of genetic information.
- The request, requirement, or purchase of genetic information of the individual or a family member of the individual except in rare cases, as outlined in the drop-down section below.
- The use of genetic information in making decisions regarding admission to or employment in any program for apprenticeship or training and retraining, including on-the-job training.
Furthermore, employers should be aware that it is unlawful for an employment agency, labor organization, or training program to fail or refuse to refer an individual for employment on the basis of genetic information, nor may the agency or labor organization attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual on the basis of genetic information.