On May 16, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a complaint against Founders Pavilion, Inc., a New York nursing home for violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA"). The violation was allegedly for having asked for genetic information in a hiring interview.
This suit is the second action filed by the EEOC under GINA, the previous one being against Fabricut, Inc. which was settled earlier this month.
Genetic information is protected by different statutes in the federal and state context. As the post-genome era develops, genetic information may be difficult to discern from health information, and a careful analysis of the differences should be undertaken in the hiring process to avoid liability. For example, a family history may contain genetic information and, thus, be subject to GINA. Violations of GINA include monetary penalties and corrective action and, in some private cases, punitive damages.
A link to the complaint in this case can be found here.