This law is one of the newer EEOC laws, which took effect in November 2009. The EEOC’s definition of genetic information includes family medical information or information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family. For example, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee whose family has a history of diabetes or cancer. This information could be used to discriminate against an employee who has an increased risk of getting a disease and may make health-care costs more expensive for the organization.
In addition, the employer is not allowed to seek out genetic information by requesting, requiring, or purchasing this information. However, there are some situations in which receiving this information would not be illegal:
- A manager or supervisor overhears an employee talking about a family member’s illness.
- Information is received based on wellness programs offered on a voluntary basis.
- If the information is required as documentation to receive benefits for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA is discussed in "Pregnancy".
- If the information is commercial, such as the appearance of information in a newspaper, as long as the employer is not specifically searching those sources for the purpose of finding genetic information.
- If genetic information is required through a monitoring program that looks at the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace.
- For those t. For example, genetic information must be kept separate from an employee’s regular file. professions that require DNA testing, such as law enforcement agencies. In this case, the genetic information may only be used for analysis in relation to the specific case at hand.
This law also covers how information about genetics should be kept separate from an employee’s regular file.