The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the EEOC) has just filed its
first class action Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) lawsuit
against a New York nursing home.
GINA is a recently enacted federal law that prohibits an employer from
requesting, requiring or purchasing an individual’s genetic information
or that of the individual’s family members. GINA was enacted in
2008, and became effective November 21, 2009.
If you have questions about the Act, or believe that your employer may
have improperly requested or obtaining information concerning your genetic
make-up, it is important to speak to dedicated
Georgia genetic information nondiscrimination act attorney right away.
The purpose of GINA is to protect individuals’ employment rights
by barring employers from using workers genetic information when making
hiring, firing, placement or promotion decisions.
In the recent class action GINA lawsuit,
EEOC v. Founders Pavilion Inc., the EEOC alleged that a nursing home violated the Act by asking prospective
and current employees for family medical histories during both pre-employment
medical exams as well as annual physicals.
Recently, an Oklahoma GINA lawsuit was settled involving a company that
allegedly wrongfully denied a temporary worker a permanent job after it
required her to fill out a questionnaire detailing her family’s
medical history. The questionnaire specifically asked, “whether
any family member had one or more separately listed “disorders,”
including heart disease, hypertension, cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes,
arthritis, and mental illness.” GINA was enacted specifically to
prohibit these types of questions.
According to the class action complaint, the nursing home inappropriately
asked about the family medical history of new hires, employees who were
returning to work exams after leaves, and current workers required submitting
to annual exams, creating a large group of employees discriminated against.
The class action GINA lawsuit also stated that the nursing home violated
some of the provisions of other Federal labor laws, including the Americans
with Disability Act (ADA) and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
(Title VII). The ADA prohibits discrimination against “qualified
individuals with a disability” in the terms and conditions of employment,
and protects these individuals by requiring employers make “reasonable
accommodations” that allow them to work. The GINA lawsuit alleges
that the nursing home violated the ADA by firing two certified nursing
assistants it regarded as disabled after they experienced back strain
and by firing rather than reasonably accommodating another CNA who has
a disability that requires her to take extra time to learn job tasks.
The Title VII discrimination claims arose out of the nursing home’s
alleged actions in refusing to hire a job applicant because she was six
months’ pregnant, withdrawing a job offer to a prospective employee
after her pre-employment physical indicated she was pregnant, and firing
another employer shortly after she gave birth.
If you have faced any form of employment discrimination it is important
to speak to a private employment discrimination lawyer who can protect
your rights and represent your interests.
For more information, contact the top
Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.