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Total Articles: 41

Checking In On GINA: Revisiting the EEOC’s Rules on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

On May 16, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued regulations governing the treatment of wellness programs under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), as well as under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The rules regarding financial inducements began applying to employer-sponsored wellness programs as of the first day of the first plan year that began on or after January 1, 2017. This move led to a legal challenge by the AARP regarding whether the financial incentives provided for in both laws was consistent with the notion of voluntary participation. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with the AARP, and on August 22, 2017, just a little over a year after the regulations went into place, the court held in AARP v. United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that incentives and penalties up to 30% of employee health care costs are inconsistent with the “voluntary participation” requirement under both the ADA and GINA.

Court Approves Three Year Consent Decree in Case Brought by the EEOC for Alleged Violations of GINA

Although the EEOC rarely files suit seeking to redress violations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”), on October 31, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a three year consent decree against a New York home health agency in a class action brought by the EEOC which alleged violations of Title II of the Act.

EEOC Releases Final Rule Revising the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

In a much anticipated move, on May 16, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued final regulations governing the treatment of wellness programs under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), as well as under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The new rules regarding financial inducements will apply to employer sponsored wellness programs as of the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.

EEOC Issues Final Rules For Wellness Programs Under the ADA and GINA

On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued a final rule for employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In 2015, the EEOC previously issued a proposed rule regarding this topic, a discussion of which can be found in our prior blog post.

EEOC Releases Final Wellness Regulations under the ADA and GINA—Immediate Attention Required

On May 17, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) each apply to employer-sponsored wellness plans. The primary focus of the EEOC's regulations is on what it means for a wellness program to be "voluntary." These regulations generally track and attempt to harmonize the EEOC's position regarding the ADA and GINA with other statutory and regulatory guidance regarding the operation of wellness plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nevertheless, they include certain important differences from the existing guidance under HIPAA and the ACA.

You May Be Discriminating Based On Employee Genetics

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is one of the newer federal anti-discrimination laws in the country, and one that requires employers to tread carefully when it comes to employee medical information. If you are not familiar with the law, the time is now to get caught up, especially because the coming year is bound to see important changes impacting your employment practices.

New GINA Rules: EEOC Attorney Discusses Impact For HR

What do proposed changes to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act mean for employer wellness programs? The EEOC's Chris Kuczynski on what you need to know.

No GINA Violation for Alternate Duty Assignment after Firefighter Refused Compliance with ‘Mandatory Wellness Program’

The City of San Antonio Fire Department did not violate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) when it placed a firefighter on alternate duty after he failed to comply with a mandatory wellness program that evaluated fitness for duty, the federal appeals in New Orleans has ruled. Ortiz v. City of San Antonio Fire Dep’t, No. 15-50341 (5th Cir. Nov. 18, 2015).

EEOC Proposed Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Rule Permits Incentives in Wellness Programs for Spouse Health Information

In a shift, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a proposed rule clarifying that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) does not prohibit employers from offering limited incentives to employees when their covered spouses provide information about their current and past health status in a health risk assessment (“HRA”). The HRA must be offered as part of a voluntary wellness program that is part of a group health plan.

The EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on GINA and Wellness Programs

On October 30, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) as they relate to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans.

EEOC Seeks to Amend Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed changes to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that will impact employer-sponsored wellness programs. The proposed rule focuses on spousal information. It would allow employers that offer wellness programs to offer incentives in exchange for an employee's spouse providing information about his or her health status.

Wellness Program Amendments to GINA Proposed by EEOC

The concept of wellness programs is relatively simple. Employers provide incentives to promote health or disease prevention amongst their employees. However, a variety of laws exist in order to strike a balance between incentivizing health and protecting an individual’s confidential medical information.

EEOC Proposal Allows Employers to Seek Genetic Information as Part of Wellness Programs

On Friday, October 30, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed new regulations aimed at ensuring employer wellness programs comport with Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The popularity of such wellness programs has increased in recent years, with more than 88 percent of employers with 500 or more employees offering them. Of those, 42 percent offer employee incentives to undergo biometric screening, and 23 percent tie incentives to actual results, such as reaching or making progress toward blood pressure or BMI targets. GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions and restricts employers’ ability to request, require, or purchase genetic information. Over the past two years, the EEOC has actively sought to penalize employers who implement involuntary or health-contingent wellness programs — and has gone so far as to initiate litigation against employers it perceives to be penalizing employees who do not take part in the programs.

The Case Of GINA And The "Devious Defecator"

In a case dubbed “the mystery of the devious defecator” by a Georgia federal district judge, an Atlanta jury recently awarded a $2.2 million verdict against a company that requested DNA samples from two workers in an attempt to identify who had been leaving feces around the workplace.

Get To Know GINA

Does your company or the company’s medical advisor use forms created more than three years ago asking for information about an applicant’s or an employee’s family medical history?

Healthcare Industry Legal Alert: Nursing Home Settles Genetic Information Discrimination Lawsuit

Executive Summary: On January 13, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") announced the former operator of a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Corning, New York had agreed to pay $370,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleging violations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA"). In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleged the nursing home operator requested family medical history as part of its post-offer, pre-employment medical exams of applicants. The EEOC also claimed that the nursing home operator fired two employees because they were perceived to be disabled, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), and refused to hire or fired three women because they were pregnant, in violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII").

EEOC Settles First GINA Case Based on Employer Medical Exam Questions About Medical Family History

EEOC bagged its first consent decree under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. In EEOC v. Founders Pavilion Inc., No. 13-cv-6250, (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2014), EEOC alleged that the nursing home/rehabilitation center employer violated GINA by seeking family medical history data in post-offer, pre-employment exams.

Family Secrets are Safe According to EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) brought its first case involving an employment law violation under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).

EEOC Settles First GINA Suit

Employer liability under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act is no longer theoretical.

EMPLOYMENT LAW MADE UN-SCARY: GINA

Everything you need to know about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in one handy post

EEOC Extends Recordkeeping Requirements to Include Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act – Much Ado About Nothing

Keeping up-to-date record retention policies is a must for any employer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently passed a final rule mandating that all employers subject to its recordkeeping requirements under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) keep the same recordkeeping requirements with respect to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

EEOC Weighs In On "GINA" And Employee Wellness Programs

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) generally prohibits employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information regarding employees. However, the Act sets forth specific exceptions, one of which allows an employer to acquire genetic information about an employee (or his or her family members) when the employer offers a wellness program to employees on a voluntary basis. In June of this year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provided guidance - in the form of an opinion letter - on certain issues affecting wellness programs.

GINA prohibits financial incentives as inducement to provide genetic information as part of employee wellness program.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) generally prohibits employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information. However, the Act sets forth specific exceptions to that prohibition, one of which allows an employer to acquire genetic information about an employee or that employee’s family members when the employer offers a wellness program to employees on a voluntary basis. In June of this year, the EEOC provided guidance – in the form of an opinion letter - on certain issues affecting workplace wellness programs.

The Latest On GINA

The new regulations issued by the EEOC under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) became effective on January 10, 2011. The regulations make clear that the law protects applicants, current and former employees, trainees, and apprentices. The EEOC has already received hundreds of charges alleging violations of GINA. Employers must now post new information and take other steps to comply, including the use of "safe harbor" language when requesting health-related information from an employee or healthcare provider.

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Final GINA Title II Regulations.

On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its final regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The final regulations are scheduled to take effect on January 10, 2011.

FMLA Insights Podcast No. 18: GINA and the FMLA.

In November the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published new regulations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). In this podcast we explain what GINA is, and what the law and new rules require of employers as they administer FMLA leave.

EEOC Publishes Final Regulations Under Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (pdf).

The new final regulations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) were published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in November and will take effect January 10, 2011. Title II of GINA, which went into effect November 21, 2009, prohibits discrimination and harassment based on genetic information; bars employers from acquiring genetic information except in certain narrow circumstances; and requires employers to keep any genetic information they have confidential. The new GINA regulations require employers to provide certain disclosures when requesting medical certifications in support of an employee’s leave or request for an accommodation.

EEOC Issues Final Rule for Title II of GINA

On November 9, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final regulations under Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (Act or GINA). Title II of the Act, which took effect November 21, 2009, prohibits employers from discriminating based upon genetic information. Specifically, GINA bars the use of genetic information in employment decision-making, restricts deliberate acquisition of genetic information, requires that genetic information be maintained as a confidential medical record, and places strict limits on disclosure of genetic information.

GINA Rules Require New Disclosures In Requests For FMLA Certification

Employers covered by the FMLA should take note of new final regulations under the Genetic Information Nondicrimination Act (GINA) published this week by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Although the FMLA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor, not the EEOC, the new GINA regulations require employers who seek medical certifications in support of leave or accommodation requests - including FMLA leave - to provide new disclosures or risk violating GINA.

GINA Takes Effect - Many Employers Unprepared?

With little fanfare and seemingly even less reaction from employers, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect on November 21, 2009. Title II generally prohibits employers, employment agencies and unions from collecting employees' or applicants' genetic information - which specifically includes family medical history. The law also precludes any type of genetic testing of employees or applicants.

Time to Prepare for a New Civil Rights Law.

On Nov. 21, employers will be required to comply with yet another federal law that restricts disclosure of employee health information. Specifically, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 will join the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act as federal laws that restrict what you can and can't do with employee medical information. GINA, which overwhelmingly passed both houses of Congress last year, was hailed by Sen. Ted Kennedy as "the first major new civil rights bill of the new century." Although Oregon and 36 other states already have genetic information laws on the books, GINA will ensure wide-sweeping and consistent coverage across the country.

Time to Prepare for a New Civil Rights Law.

On Nov. 21, employers will be required to comply with yet another federal law that restricts disclosure of employee health information. Specifically, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 will join the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act as federal laws that restrict what you can and can't do with employee medical information. GINA, which overwhelmingly passed both houses of Congress last year, was hailed by Sen. Ted Kennedy as "the first major new civil rights bill of the new century." Although Oregon and 36 other states already have genetic information laws on the books, GINA will ensure wide-sweeping and consistent coverage across the country.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Has Taken Effect.

With little fanfare and even less reaction from employers, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect on November 21, 2009. GINA generally prohibits employers, employment agencies, and unions from collecting genetic information – which specifically includes family medical history - related to employees or applicants. The law also precludes any type of genetic testing of employees or applicants.

Privacy Patrol: Guidelines for Complying with the New Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

As of Nov. 21, employers are required to comply with yet another law that restricts disclosure of employee health information. The new law will join others already on the books that require HR leaders to exercise discretion and vigilance when it comes to dispersing and safeguarding such information. However, a few misconceptions about medical-privacy laws and the workplace need to be clarified.

New EEOC Workplace Poster Now Available for Employers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has revised the workplace notice that employers covered by federal anti-discrimination laws must post to reflect the requirements of the new Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the changes made by the ADA Amendments Act.

Do Your Health and Wellness Plans Violate GINA?

Many employers with wellness program that use health risk assessments will have to modify their assessments to avoid running afoul of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), under final interim regulations set to appear in the Federal Register on October 7, 2009.

GENETIC INFORMATION NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW (pdf).

On May 21, 2008, President Bush signed the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) into law. However, GINA’s employment-related discrimination provisions do not take effect until November 2009. GINA was enacted, in part, to protect individuals from discrimination in employment on the basis of their genetic information. The law’s anti-discrimination provisions generally impact employers already covered by Title VII.

New GINA Law Also Affects Wage/Hour Provisions.

A little-noticed part of the recently-enacted federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) has substantially increased the potential monetary exposure for employers who violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's child-labor restrictions. These changes took effect when President Bush signed the law on May 21, 2008.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Finally Becomes Law.

President George W. Bush recently signed into law H.R. 493, also known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on genetic tests or genetic information.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Finally Becomes Law.

Today, President George W. Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (H.R. 493) (GINA) which prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on genetic tests or genetic information. The federal government already has a similar law applicable to federal employees – the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991. The new law also prohibits health insurers from restricting enrollment and premium adjustments for health insurance on the basis of genetic information or genetic services.

Getting To Know GINA.

After languishing in Congress for 12 years, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) has now been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. President Bush has publicly supported the legislation and is expected to sign it soon.
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