Employment Law Basics: the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act


Employment laws can be confusing and downright scary.

They don’t have to be. As a public service, from now until my special Halloween webinar Answers to the World’s Scariest Employment Law Questions, I’ll be tackling each major law one by one to give you what you REALLY need to know. By the end, you’ll have handy one-page cheat sheets for each and every law and your terror level will be reduced to zero.

Today’s Topic: GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Here is basically everything you need to know about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in one handy post.


What employers are covered?

Those with 15 or more employees

What are GINA’s basics?

  • Prohibits discrimination based on genetic information.
  • Prohibits employers from collecting genetic information, with limited exceptions.
  • Prohibits health insurance and plans from requiring genetic testing and from discriminating based on genetic information.
  • Imposes strict confidentiality rules.

Does GINA prohibit retaliation?


What are potential penalties?

  • Front and/or back pay;
  • Reinstatement;
  • Compensatory damages;
  • Punitive damages;
  • Attorneys’ fees.

Stay tuned for more. Tomorrow, we’ll de-scare-ify harassment law.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.