What is Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace? | What to Know

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What is Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace? | What to Know

Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is a common issue. One of the less common types of discrimination is genetic discrimination. This refers to an employer discriminating against an employee as a result of their genetic information. Read on to learn more about what genetic discrimination entails and what you should do about it.

What is the Genetic Information Discrimination Act of 2008?

The Genetic Discrimination Act defines “genetic information” as any documentation regarding your genetic rests, results of family member’s tests, or the manifestation of a disorder or disease in an employee’s family member. Several businesses and other entities are prohibited from obtaining genetic information from their employees or their family members, and if they do, you may have a claim against them. However, you should understand that there are certain exceptions to this law, including the following:

  • If an employer accidentally acquired genetic information, such as through another employee telling the employer.
  • If you are applying for or work for certain law enforcement agencies, they may obtain this information in DNA testing.
  • If an employer finds genetic information that was available to the general public.
  • Employees who use a business’s health services voluntarily may waive their right to protected genetic information from their employer.
  • If an employee provides genetic information when requesting to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to care for a family member who is ill, it is lawful for the employer to review that information.
  • If an employee voluntarily submits to a testing or monitoring program to measure any biological impacts that toxic substances present in the workplace may have had, your employer may receive access to your genetic information.

What Does Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace Look Like?

Some of the behaviors that may indicate genetic discrimination include:

  • Firing
  • Layoffs
  • Fringe benefits
  • Compensation
  • Job assignments
  • Demotions
  • Training

If your employer accesses your genetic information and subjects you to any of the above situations, you may have a case for genetic discrimination in the workplace. If you believe you are a victim of genetic discrimination, contact our firm today. We will fight for you every step of the way.


If you need help with an employment law matter in the state of Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to effectively represent your interests. With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Barrett has the skill and experience necessary to help you navigate the complexities of any employment law matter you may be facing. To discuss your case with a legal team you can trust, please do not hesitate to contact Ben Barrett Law today.

Our Philosophy

Our firm hand-selects challenging, complex cases that other attorneys won’t touch so we can deliver the highly-personalized attention your case deserves. From consultation to trial, we advocate for employees’ rights, every step of the way.

Our Principle

We base our practice on the principles of service and care. We take the time to truly know each and every client, and we put all of our energy into obtaining the best outcome possible, time and time again.

Our Definition Of Success

We will prosecute your case to the fullest extent possible. If you’ve been wronged by an employer in Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to fight for you.

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