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Equal Employment Opportunity Developments

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In its final rule issued on November 9 implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provided additional clarification on how HR professionals should address genetic information in the workplace.

GINA generally prohibits employers from requesting or requiring genetic information from employees or their family members for any reason.  However, in a joint comment to the EEOC, SHRM and other employer groups pointed out that in actual workplace practice, employers may still inadvertently obtain such information.

The final rule acknowledges that employers may inadvertently receive genetic information without penalty as long as the employer, when requesting medical information, includes a notice that genetic information should not be provided.  The rule includes sample language that employers may use in conveying this notice to employees and/or their medical providers.

The final rule also states that employers do not violate Title II by offering employees an inducement for completing a health risk assessment that includes questions about family medical history or other genetic information.  However, the employer must identify questions regarding genetic information, and make it clear that they do not need to be answered in order to receive the inducement.

Have questions?  SHRM is conducting a webcast on GINA compliance on December 3.  Details and registration information appears below.

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Upcoming Public Policy Webcast – December 3, 2-3:30 p.m. (ET)

Complying with the New GINA Regs: Protect Your Company

Workplace Application:  This 90-minute webcast, with Q&A, will provide participants with a clear explanation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), a law that has been called a "stealth statute," since many employers incorrectly assume it doesn't apply to them.

Armed with a clear understanding of GINA and rules just published by the EEOC, you can put in place practices and policies that will ensure your organization is in compliance.  Register by 12 midnight to take advantage of discounted registration rates.
Recertification Hours: 1.5

SHRM Members: $99 ($139 after Dec. 2) - Register now

Nonmembers: $149 ($189 after Dec. 2) - Register now

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