What to Know About Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace

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What to Know About Genetic Discrimination in the Workplace

Genetic discrimination refers to an employer discriminating against their employee as a result of their genetic information. Continue reading to learn more about genetic discrimination. If you believe that you have been discriminated against as a result of your genetic information, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced employment attorney who will fight for your rights as an employee. If you have any further questions regarding genetic discrimination, do not hesitate to reach out to our employment law firm.

What is the Genetic Discrimination Act?

The Genetic Discrimination Act defines “genetic information” as the following:

  • Any documentation regarding your genetic results
  • Results of family member’s tests
  • 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. If a business obtains genetic information from you or your family member, you may have a valid claim against your employer.

The following are exceptions to this law:

  • 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 employer accidentally acquired genetic information, such as another employee telling the employer.
  • If an employer finds genetic information that was available to the general public.
  • If you are applying for or work for certain law enforcement agencies
    • They may obtain this information in DNA testing.
  • Employees who use a business’s health services voluntarily may waive their right to protected genetic information from their employer.
  • 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 are the most common examples of genetic discrimination in the workplace?

Examples of genetic discrimination may include the following behaviors:

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

If you believe that your employer has accessed your genetic information and has subjected you to any of the above behaviors, you may have a valid genetic discrimination in the workplace claim. To learn how we can hold your employer accountable, give our experienced employment law firm a call today.


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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