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Genetic Information

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination ACT of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits genetic information discrimination in employment. GINA took effect November 2009 and applies to employers with at least 15 employees. The departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury issue regulations for Title I of GINA, which addresses the use of genetic information in health insurance.

Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts acquisition of genetic information by employers covered by Title II and strictly limits disclosure of genetic information.

If you think you have been discriminated against because of your genetic information, you may file employment discrimination charges as an individual or as part of a group (known as "class action") with the EEOC. The charges must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. If you are represented by a union, contact your union steward, who can help you file charges. Federal employees must file discrimination charges within their own agency. They must contact an EEO counselor within 45 days of the discriminatory act.

You can file a charge by calling the EEOC office at 800-669-4000 for more information (800-669-6820 for the hearing impaired). All charges must include:

  • Your name, address and telephone number.
  • Your job title.
  • A brief description of the problem.
  • When the incident(s) occurred.
  • The type of discrimination you encountered.

EEOC facts about Genetic Information Discrimination

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