The Labor & Employment Blog is a forum for practitioners and Bloomberg BNA editors to share ideas, raise issues, and network with colleagues.
Friday, November 2, 2012
by Patrick Dorrian
Since the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect Nov. 21, 2009, there hasn't been as much litigation activity under the employment provisions of the statute as some may have anticipated. That could be about to change, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission leading the way.
During a recent employment law seminar, Elizabeth Grossman, the regional attorney for EEOC's New York office, mentioned that the agency soon will become more active in GINA litigation, even hinting that the commission may have some GINA enforcement actions already in the queue.
The dearth of GINA decisions to date has no doubt left employers and employees--and their lawyers--somewhat in the dark as to how the key employment provisions of the statute will be interpreted by the courts. The statute provides generally that it is illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants because of genetic information, which includes information regarding an employee or applicant's genetic tests or the genetic tests of his or her family members.
With EEOC likely to be pursuing litigation on substantive GINA issues in the near future, some of the dark may soon be lifted.
Other recent EEO developments included:
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Q&A: Contractors Have No Scapegoat in Third-Party Providers
Long-Awaited, Bigger Pay Raises Are Coming for Most Workers
EEO Roundup: Pregnancy Bias--Two Under-the-Radar Rulings You Might Have Missed
EEO Roundup: How Specific Does an Accommodation Request Need to Be?
Public Sector Roundup: Civil Service System Needs Overhaul, House Panel Told
Employee Background Checks
Adverse Employment Action
Burden of Proof