Genetic testing has been available for decades. It’s useful for determining a lot of information about someone, and these days, doctors and scientists will know more about you than ever after obtaining a small sample of your DNA. So will your boss.
Although it goes against every fabric of “right and wrong,” it’s easy to foresee a future in which people are discriminated against on the basis of their DNA signatures. Perhaps scientists will identify a “smart gene,” and employers will refuse to hire anyone who doesn’t have it. Or, maybe an art studio will only hire artists who have the “art gene.” This is a terrifying future indeed.
But that’s now how the future will be in the United States as long as we have the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). This act makes it unlawful for an employer or a prospective employer to treat you unfairly. It also makes it unlawful for your employer to decide to hire you or not hire you based on DNA and other medical records. Also, harassing you, calling you names or paying you different amounts of money because of your medical information is prohibited.
Just like other forms of discrimination — like gender, national origin, race, color, sex, religious and pregnancy discrimination — employers might still try to get away with it. That’s why employees who suspect they’ve been victims of this abuse of the law must step forward to defend their rights.
Were you a victim of DNA, genetic information or medical information discrimination at work? Our law office can tell you about your legal rights and how to pursue justice in court.