EEOC Issues Final GINA Regulations

November 15, 2010
On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published final regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  GINA prohibits employers from making employment decisions on the basis of genetic information and family history and also prohibits employers from acquiring genetic information and family medical history regarding applicants, employees and former employees. The regulations, which go into effect on January 10, 2011, address many issues such as the definition of family medical history, family members, genetic tests, genetic services and participation in clinical research. GINA, which was signed into law during the Bush administration and became effective nearly one year ago, prompted the EEOC to change its "Equal Opportunity is the Law" poster, requiring a revised poster be displayed by all covered employers beginning on November 21, 2009.  In addition to the posting requirement, recordkeeping requirements also exist under GINA, requiring employers that possess employees', former employers' or applicants' genetic information to treat the information as confidential medical records, with limited disclosure exceptions.  Employers must keep such information on separate forms and in separate medical files, including electronically. For a concise listing of information and resources on the EEOC, the ADAAA, and GINA, visit the "EEO" section of AGC's Labor and HR Topical Resources page.
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