• New Federal Genetic Discrimination Law
  • June 13, 2008
  • Law Firm: Fenwick & West LLP - Office
  • On May 21, 2008, President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which among other things: (1) prohibits employers subject to Title VII from discharging, refusing to hire, or otherwise discriminating against employees or job applicants on the basis of genetic information; (2) prohibits employers from collecting genetic information and allows workplace genetic testing in only very limited circumstances; and (3) requires genetic information possessed by employers to be safeguarded.  The employment-related provisions of the law go into effect on November 21, 2009.

    While California law already prohibits genetic discrimination in employment, this new law contains additional requirements regarding the safeguarding of genetic information by employers.  Multistate employers should also take note of the possible impact of this law on operations outside of California.