NYC Home Health Agency Pays $125K to Settle Genetic Informatin Bias Lawsuit Filed by EEOC

For $125,000,  a New York  home health care agency is extricating itself from a genetic information bias lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit filed in September 2014 against BNV Home Care Agency Inc. alleged that the  the company, a provider of companionship and home care services for seniors throughout New York City, violated 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.

“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,” said the EEOC when it announced the lawsuit.

“Employers should take heed of this settlement, because there are tangible consequences to unlawfully asking employees and applicants about their family medical history, which has been prohibited since the enactment of GINA in 2008,” said EEOC New York District Office Regional Attorney Jeffrey Burstein.

Read more about the settlement here.

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