Sue Reisinger writes:
Earlier this month the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed— and quickly settled—its first lawsuit accusing an employer of gathering illegal genetic information during a job applicant’s medical exam. The agency followed it up last Thursday by filing its first class action suit against another employer on similar grounds.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act went into effect in 2009, and some individuals have sued companies under it. But not until this month did the government take official action to enforce GINA, as the law is called.
“Employers need to be aware that GINA prohibits requesting family medical history,” said David Lopez, general counsel of the EEOC, in a statement. “When illegal questions are required as part of the hiring process, the EEOC will be vigilant to ensure that no one be denied a job on a prohibited basis.”
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