Norcal Employment Counsel - Representing Employees in Workplace Disputes Throughout Northern California

Genetic Information Discrimination

What is genetic information discrimination?

The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits discrimination in employment based on genetic information, which is defined to include information about an individual's or their family member's genetic tests as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual's family members. California law also prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment.

What are some examples of genetic information discrimination?

Genetic information discrimination can occur at any point in the employment relationship from the job interview process to separation from employment. Below are some common examples of genetic information discrimination:

Medical History:

  »  Senior management official is under consideration for a company's Chief Executive Officer position. The company learns from his medical history that Alzheimer's Disease runs in his family. Based on this information, the company refuses to hire him because of the fear that he will acquire the disease while in the CEO position.   » A supervisor learns that an employee under his supervisor has a family member who was just diagnosed with cancer. For the next few months, the supervisor purposely asks the employee about the status of his family member in order to determine whether cancer is common in the employee's family. After finding out that it is common, the employee is fired because the employer fears that he will get cancer and drive up the employer's healthcare costs.  

How can an attorney help you?

Since genetic information discrimination was only recently prohibited, you need an attorney with experience in general discrimination and harassment matters. An attorney can help navigate the complex process required to file and litigate a discrimination complaint. Our firm is well-versed in gathering initial facts, advising clients on their alternatives, preparing a complaint, and litigating a discrimination case until resolution. Remember: no recovery, no fees. We only get paid if we obtain a positive recovery in your case.
We can review the facts of your case and give you an honest evaluation of any genetic information discrimination issue you are facing. 

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