U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Founders Pavilion Inc.

Decision: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) settled its first systemic Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (“GINA”) lawsuit. The case involved a class of workers from whom Founders Pavilion Inc. allegedly sought genetic information by asking for family medical history as part of pre-employment, return-to-work and annual medical exams of its employees. The Founders Pavilion case is the EEOC’s third GINA lawsuit and the first systemic lawsuit. Each class member will receive $800.

Impact: This case serves as an important reminder to employers to ensure that their employment forms do not request information that qualifies as genetic information under GINA. GINA prohibits employers from using genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information except in very narrow circumstances and limits the disclosure of employee genetic information. It also prohibits discrimination on the basis of, or harassment because of, an individual’s genetic information. The law defines “genetic information” to include information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about the manifestation of a disease or disorder in an individual’s family members, including family medical history.