What is Genetic Discrimination? | What You Need to Know

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What is Genetic Discrimination? | What You Need to Know

genetic test

Genetic discrimination refers to an employer discriminating against their employee as a result of their genetic information. While this is a lesser-known form of discrimination, it does happen, and its results can be detrimental to an employee. Read on to learn more about genetic discrimination in the Georgia workplace.

What is the Genetic Discrimination Act?

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was signed into law on May 21, 2008. Genetic information is defined as the following under the Genetic Discrimination Act:

  • Any documentation regarding your genetic results
  • Manifestation of a disorder or disease in an employee’s family member
  • Results of family member’s tests

How does the Act protect employees?

It is prohibited for businesses and other entities to obtain genetic information from their employees or their employees’ family members. If a business obtains genetic information from you or your family members, you likely have a claim for genetic discrimination.

Exceptions to the law

However, there are exceptions to this law. These exceptions include:

  • 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 and the employer reviews that information.
  • If an employer accidentally acquires genetic information.
  • If genetic information is available to the general public and the employer finds this information.
  • Applying for or working for certain law enforcement agencies may require employers to obtain this information in DNA testing.
  • Employees who use a business’ health services voluntarily may waive their right to protect genetic information from their employer.
  • An employee voluntarily submitting to a testing or monitoring program to measure biological impacts that toxic substances present in the workplace may result in their employer receiving access to their genetic information.

What are the most common examples of genetic discrimination in the workplace?

Genetic discrimination can result in:

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

What if I am a victim of genetic discrimination?

If you believe you are the victim of genetic discrimination, it is important that you contact an attorney right away. Workplace discrimination can impact your mental health, as well as your ability to make a living.

If you are a victim of discrimination in the workplace, our firm will fight for you. Reach out today to discuss your case with a passionate and experienced employment law attorney.


To discuss your employment law 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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