GINA law to take effect
I rarely do two postings in one day, but it is really important that you all know about the GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) law that is about to take effect. Here is a brief quote from an article in the New York Times and a link if you want to read more:
A landmark antidiscrimination law — the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act — will take effect in the nation's workplaces next weekend, prohibiting employers from requesting genetic testing or considering someone's genetic background in hiring, firing or promotions.
The act also prohibits health insurers and group plans from requiring such testing or using genetic information — like a family history of heart disease — to deny coverage or set premiums or deductibles.
"It doesn't matter who's asking for genetic information, if it's the employer or the insurer, the point is you can't ask for it," said John C. Stivarius Jr., a trial lawyer based in Atlanta who advises businesses about the new law.
The biggest change resulting from the law is that it will — except in a few circumstances — prohibit employers and health insurers from asking employees to give their family medical histories. The law also bars group health plans from the common practice of rewarding workers, often with lower premiums or one-time payments, if they give their family medical histories when completing health risk questionnaires.