U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules implementing part of a federal law that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers or job applicants based on their genetic information became effective January 10, 2011. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 also makes it unlawful for employers to request, require or purchase genetic information.
Prompted by concerns about the potential misuse of genetic information by insurance companies and employers, the law applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, along with labor unions, employment agencies, and apprenticeship and training programs. The law has several exemptions, such as allowing the disclosure of genetic information in response to a court order. See Associated Press, January 12, 2011.