EEOC Sues Employer for GINA Violations

File this one under “What Were They Thinking”? The one area you never want to go with your employees is asking them about family medical history, yet that’s what the EEOC says that a New York City home care services agency allegedly did.

The EEOC announced today that it has sued BNV Home Care Agency for violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act by asking for family medical history–a form of prohibited genetic information–from a class of thousands of applicants and employees through an “Employee Health Assessment” form.

“The form asked the applicant or employee to indicate any illnesses experienced by family members, including health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, mental illness, epilepsy and cancer,” the EEOC said.  “BNV Home Care Agency required applicants to complete the form after offering them jobs but before hiring them, and employees were required to complete the form on an annual basis after starting their jobs.”

“GINA is clear: employers cannot ask applicants or employees for their family medical history,” said EEOC New York Regional Attorney Robert D. Rose.  “The EEOC will pursue these cases to the fullest extent of the law to ensure that such genetic inquiries are never made of applicants or employees.”

Read more about the lawsuit.


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