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Understanding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

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Under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), it’s illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of their genetic information. FindLaw states that the law went into effect last year so that patients would not decline to take advantage of the increasing availability of genetic testing for fear that they could lose their jobs or health insurance if the tests revealed adverse information. In 2008, the bill passed in the Senate unanimously and passed in the house by a vote of 414 to 1.

The law specifically outlaws making employment decisions based on a person’s genetic information, and puts limits on the disclosure of genetic information among employees. Under GINA, an employer cannot deny health coverage on the basis of genetic information, charge higher premiums based on genetic information, or use such information for firing or promoting among employees. GINA also prohibits workplace harassment based on an employee’s genetic information.

According to, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued the final regulations implementing the employment provisions of GINA. So perhaps it’s a good time for employees to learn more about their rights under GINA. More information about the law can be found at

Employees that feel their rights have been violated under GINA should consider contacting a Houston employment lawyer to learn more information on filing a claim. Employees can also contact the EEOC to learn more about filing such a claim.

Related Resources:

  • GINA Regulations and Wellness Programs for Small Businesses (FindLaw’s Free Enterprise Blog)
  • Look for a Houston Employment Lawyer (FindLaw)
  • Federal Laws Prohibiting Discrimination by an Employer (FindLaw)

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