Those of us in HR and the field of employment law sometimes feel like we’re being force-fed a veritable alphabet soup of federal statutes. We have to mind our p’s and q’s under the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, ADAAA, and ADEA, just to name a few. But there’s a relatively young law that some of you may not be aware of: the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, or GINA.
Because GINA just became law a few years ago and her scope is fairly limited, many employers may not have given her much thought. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed its first GINA lawsuit against an employer, resulting in a $50,000 settlement. So beware―GINA is out there, and the facts of the EEOC’s case show how easy it can be to run afoul of her prohibitions.