Employment Law Made Un-Scary: GINA
In this month’s continuing series on demystifying employment law, we focus on some of the most common and often confusing employment legalities. As we stressed yesterday, small businesses have it hard enough having to tackle the problems of the slow economic recovery and the uncertainty brought forth by the upcoming elections and looming fiscal cliff. However, the concerns don’t stop there for small business owners as they are constantly required to meet specific laws and compliance issues. There is nothing necessarily wrong with laws as many are to serve a beneficial purpose but the worst part is that there are so many employment laws to be concerned with, e.g. (ADA, ADEA, COBRA, FCRA, FLSA, FMLA, GINA, HIPAA, NLRA, OSHA, Title VII, USERRA, WARN).
Today we will focus on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). As Wikipedia defines GINA, it is an Act of Congress in the United States designed to prohibit the use of genetic information in health insurance and employment. The Act prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future. The legislation also bars employers from using individuals' genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions.. That may sound fairly straight forward but believe me there are many details and nuances that you can’t afford to get wrong. Luckily, Manpower has created a terrific cheat sheet for dealing with GINA that we present below:
GINA CHEAT SHEET
What employers are covered?
Those with 15 or more employees
What are GINA’s basics?
- Prohibits discrimination based on genetic information
- Prohibits employers from collecting genetic information, with limited exceptions
- Prohibits health insurance and plans from requiring genetic testing and from discriminating based on genetic information
- Imposes strict confidentiality rules
Does GINA prohibit retaliation?
What are potential penalties?
- Front and/or back pay
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Attorneys’ fees
Source - ManpowerGroup