Articles Posted in Genetic Information

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Yesterday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced here that it had issued issued final rules on how the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act apply to employer-sponsored wellness programs.

So, what do y’all need to know about the EEOC’s new rules on employer wellness programs?

(No one ever accused me of burying the lede)

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A received a number of emails following yesterday’s blog post, “Can you refuse to hire a person whom you fear may have a future disability?” Most were nice. Although, I didn’t appreciate one reader’s virtual flaming bag of virtual dog poop left in my inbox. That person can go to virtual hell. Or actual hell.

But, one of the more substantive emails was worthy of setting the table for today’s post:

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DNA modelDo you follow me on Twitter? If you do, you may have watched me live-streaming some of my one-year-old, who won Halloween hands-down. Well, that and you would have gotten the early heads up that the EEOC was issuing its proposed rules on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and its impact on your employer wellness programs.

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Did I ever tell you about the one in college we called “The Mad Pooper”? (Actually, we didn’t use the word “Pooper.” We used another word that better expressed our distaste for this individual).

It was during my freshman year of college. More often than not after a night of revelry and intoxication, which generally fell on a day that ended in “Y,”  a phantom defacator would infiltrate our co-ed bathrooms and leave a calling card — or, more accurately, a bowel movement — right in the middle of the floor.  Continue reading

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate.

Congratulations!

Your fitness-for-duty employee medical examinations are job-related or consistent with business necessity. So, they pass muster under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, what about the medical information you request from employees in connection with those exams? 

Oh yeah, there’s that too…

Ask for too much info and you might you be violating not only the ADA, but also the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.

Rut roh! More after the jump…

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Consistent with its strategic plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws, last week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued this press release in which it announced that it had revised guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities. You can find links to that revised guidance here.

And earlier in the month, the EEOC held a public meeting on employer wellness programs and how they may be impacted by not only the ADA, but also the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). You can view a copy of the press release here. Suffice it to say that, until the EEOC offers further guidance on these issues — and even when it does — consult with an employment lawyer before implementing or updating one of these programs.

FacebookMaryland has a new law forbidding employers from demanding that job applicants and employees divulge online passwords. Two weeks ago, the federal government proposed similar legislation. And, last week, news surfaced that Delaware may be placing the same restrictions on employers.

But who needs to demand online passwords, when, according to this report from Consumer Reports, your employees are sharing way more information on Facebook than they realize.

Some of the highlights from the report and a few related tips for employers follow after the jump…

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Over the weekend, I read this story by Laura Hibbard at the Huffington Post about a phony job flyer handed out by two men in red blazers posing as Chick-Fil-A employees [link to video] on the campus of New York University. The phony flyer states:

Remember Chick-Fil-A is a Christian company. We strive to have our values reflected in our employees. Please be prepared to discuss your religion, family history, personal relationships etc. upon interviewing. Chick-Fil-A reserves the right to question, in detail, your sexual relationship history. The Bible and Chick-Fil-A, define a traditional relationship as consisting of a man and woman. Anyone living a life of sin need not apply. The Chick-Fil-A Foundation. God, Family, Tradition.

The flyer and video have since gone viral. However, Chick-Fil-A, which has a stated corporate purpose to “glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us,” responded by posting on the wall of its Facebook Fan page (incidentally, 4,960,921 people “like” Chick-fil-A) that the flyer and video were BS. Given the company’s religious leanings, the comments beneath Chick-Fil-A’s status update are rather polarizing.