Saturday, December 5, 2009

EEOC Jurisdiction for GINA Title II

WASHINGTON, DC-- The recent US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission press release, “Historic Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Takes Effect”, explains the EEOC’s enforcement role and responsibilities under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), marking the first legislative expansion of EEOC jurisdiction since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990.

GINA has critical implications for people with genetically-determined disabilities and people with family histories of genetic conditions. In particular, according to the EEOC, "an employer may never use genetic information to make an employment decision because genetic information doesn't tell the employer anything about someone's current ability to work."

The US EEOC website has a number of other disability-related features and information, too. For information on “Pandemic Preparedness (H1N1) in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act, please visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html. For full text of The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and the EEOC Notice of Proposed Rule Making, visit: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa_info.cfm. And, of particular interest to families and friends of people with significant disabilities who have care giving responsibilities, “Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities”, at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/caregiver-best-practices.html provides general and area-specific guidance and recommendations for employers.

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