New Law Prohibits Genetic Discrimination in Health Care and Employment

May 5 08:12 2011 Bononi Law Group, LLP Print This Article

Genetic discrimination is the latest form of discrimination to be found in the workplace. Fortunately, a new law has been passed to discourage and prohibit genetic discrimination at work. If you have faced discrimination based on genetic reasons, contact a Los Angeles discrimination lawyer at Bononi Law Group, LLP toll-free at 800-641-5548.

In the 1920s,Guest Posting the so-called science of Eugenics encouraged discrimination based on a person's heredity. At the time, this was merely racism disguising itself as science. But thanks to modern genetic medicine, today we know that more than just physical appearance is passed from one generation to another—a propensity for developing certain diseases also appears to be hereditary. And, as with the Eugenics of yesteryear, discrimination based on heredity is once again a possibility.Because of the potential for genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment decisions, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in 2008. The Act focuses on two types of discrimination: attempts by health insurers to deny coverage to people who are genetically predisposed to certain diseases, and workplace discrimination, such as firing (or not hiring) someone based on a higher likelihood of contracting a disease.Genetic tests are expected to become routine in the future, and all people have genetic anomalies of one kind or another. So while genetic testing offers great promise for identifying and treating people who are most susceptible to certain diseases, supporters of the law believe that people might be discouraged from getting genetic tests if they thought that they could later face discrimination based on the results.Most of the provisions of the bill have taken effect over the last year or so. The New York Times reports that most of the 80 lawsuits filed under the new law have focused on employers who improperly released or obtained genetic information. But a recently filed lawsuit claims that a woman was fired following a preventative double mastectomy that she chose to undergo after learning that she had a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. The woman believes she was fired specifically because she informed her employer of her genetic risk for breast cancer, even though she took major steps to prevent it.If you have questions about how the new law may protect you from genetic discrimination, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your rights.

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Bononi Law Group, LLP
Bononi Law Group, LLP

The Los Angeles Employment Law Attorneys at Bononi Law Group, LLP are committed to providing quality representation for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as employees. Our combination of effectiveness and affordability helps us fulfill our mission which is to represent and protect interests of all parties facing employment law legal challenges. Our practice areas include, but are not limited to employment discrimination and harassment, class actions and wage claims, medical and family leave, and business law. Contact an experienced attorney from Bononi Law Group, LLP toll-free at 800-641-5548.

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