What is Genetic Information Discrimination in the Workplace?

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What is Genetic Information Discrimination in the Workplace?

Discrimination in the workplace of any kind is unthinkable, and genetic information discrimination is no different. If you feel you are a victim of genetic discrimination in the workplace, please continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable Georgia employment rights attorney to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What protections are offered under the Genetic Information Discrimination Act of 2008?

To understand the Act itself, you must first understand the meaning behind the phrase, “genetic information.” Essentially, genetic information is any information regarding someone’s genetic tests, results of tests of someone’s family members, or even information regarding the manifestation of a certain disorder or disease in someone’s family members. That being said, there are various businesses, as well as other entities, that are included under the GIDA of 2008, and all of those entities may not obtain genetic information on you or your family members. That being said, under certain circumstances, there are exceptions. Those exceptions are as follows:

  • An employer may not be punished if that employer unintentionally acquired genetic information. There are certain cases where this may happen, for example, if an employer overhears an employee discussing an illness that either he/she or his/her family member has.
  • If genetic information is published in the newspaper or is otherwise available to the public, employers can obtain it.
  • Employers may access genetic information if the employee voluntarily submits to a testing or monitoring program to measure any biological impacts that toxic substances present in the workplace may have had.
  • Certain law enforcement agencies may obtain this information in DNA testing.
  • Additionally, if the business offers a health service and the employee accepts the service voluntarily, the employer may legally obtain this information.
  • It is also legal for an employer to receive this information if the employee provides this information when requesting to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act to care for a family member who is ill.

Are employers prohibited to discriminate against employees based on their genetic information?

No. Genetic information may not affect an employer’s decision-making when it comes to any of the following:

  • Hiring, firing, laying off or promoting the employee
  • Training the employee
  • Providing the employee with fringe benefits
  • Allowing an employee to receive compensation
  • Assigning certain jobs to employees

If you feel you are a victim of genetic information discrimination, give us a call today. We are here to help.

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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.

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