The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers from using genetic information in employment, restricts employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information. However, some employers questioned whether they could be liable under GINA for maintaining files that contained genetic information which was collected prior to GINA. Genetic information placed in personnel files prior to GINA's effective date of November 21, 2009, need not be removed. An employer is not liable under GINA for the mere existence of that genetic information in a personnel file. However, disclosing that genetic information to a third party is prohibited. Additionally, an employer in possession of genetic information about applicants or employees must treat that information the same way it treats medical information generally. It must keep the information confidential.
For additional information on GINA, see Reinhart's December 22, 2010 e-alert, "GINA: FINAL ECOA REGULATIONS FOR TITLE II"