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EEOC Settles its First GINA Lawsuit

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), which was passed by Congress in 2008, generally makes it illegal for employers with more than 15 employees to ask about (1) an individual’s genetic tests; (2) the genetic tests of individual’s family members; and (3) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in the family members of an individual. At the end of 2012, the EEOC declared that genetic discrimination under GINA would be one of its priorities during the next four years. Consistent with that declaration, the EEOC recently announced that it had settled its first lawsuit, EEOC v. Fabricut, Inc., Case No. 13-Civ. 248 (CVE)(PJC) (N.D. Okla. May 7, 2013), alleging violations of GINA. According to the EEOC, the Company violated GINA by asking an applicant about her family medical history – including the existence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and mental illness – as part of a mandatory post-offer medical exam. Fabricant agreed to resolve the case for $50,000 and to take actions to prevent future discrimination.