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Is Your Company Ready for the November 21, 2009 Deadline under GINA?

Posted in Discrimination, New Legislation and Regulations

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) takes effect November 21, 2009. Among other things, GINA requires that employers post a notice informing employees that the employer does not discriminate on the basis of genetic information.

The following EEOC notices can be used to meet the posting obligation:

1.        “Equal Employment Opportunity is THE LAW” (EEOC 9/02 and OFCCP 8/08 – EEOC-P/E-1 (Revised 11/09). A copy of the notice is attached or you can obtain a copy at the EEOC’s website: www.eeoc.gov/posterform.html.

2.        “EEO is the Law Poster Supplement” (Mandatory Supplement to EEOC 9/02 and OFCCP 8/08). A copy of the notice is attached or you can obtain a copy at the EEOC’s website: www.eeoc.gov/posterform.html.

In addition to posting the notices by November 21st, employers should also do the following:

1.     Update their EEO and anti-discrimination policies to include genetic information as another protected class.

2.     Make sure their interview and hiring documentation (e.g. applications, questionnaires, testing materials) do not request information about an applicant’s genetic medical history.

3.     Review all policies and procedures that involve medical information (e.g. pre-hire screening, worker’s compensation, FMLA and other medical leaves of absence) to be sure they properly provide for the security and confidentiality of an applicant’s or employee’s (or employee’s family member’s) medical information including any genetic information.

4.     Make sure all supervisory or management-level employees who have the responsibility of working with applicants or employees in connection with any of the policies referred to in number 3 immediately above, have been properly trained: a) not to improperly inquire about genetic medical history of an applicant or employee (or employee’s family member); and b) if they become aware of such information, to keep it confidential.

The employment lawyers at Weintraub Genshlea Chediak Tobin & Tobin regularly draft effective employment policies and provide management training on a variety of employment law subjects. They would be happy to assist employers in the review and update of their policies to comply with GINA.