Mining Co. Drops Questions on Family Medical History in Settlement of EEOC’s GINA Lawsuit

Applicants for jobs at Joy Mining Machinery won’t have to worry anymore about answering the company’s questions about their family medical history. Or that their responses could keep them from being hired.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that the company, which also goes by the name Joy Underground Mining LLC, will no longer ask those nosy questions on its pre-placement physical from. Among the topics inquired on were whether the applicant has a family medical history of “TB, Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy, [and] Heart Disease.”

The employer required responses to those questions as part of a post-offer medical examination.

requested family medical history on its pre-placement physical form asking applicants if they had a family medical history for “TB, Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy, [and] Heart Disease.”

Such alleged conduct violates the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), which protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of genetic information, including family medical history. GINA also prohibits employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information about applicants or employees, except in very narrow circumstances which do not apply in this case, the EEOC said.

Under the settlement, the company will refrain from inquiring directly or indirectly about genetic information of an applicant, an applicant’s family member, employee, or an employee’s family member except as permitted by GINA. The company will also provide training on GINA to all management and human resources personnel with responsibilities related to hiring.

EEOC filed the suit in December. Here’s my blog post about that.

And here’s the EEOC’s announcement of the settlement.



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