You are not interested in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of your employees. The thought of collecting their DNA or anything about it has never crossed your mind. So why should you spend the three hours the EEOC says it will take to “gain a satisfactory understanding” of the recently released final regulations for Title II–the employment provisions–of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)? Because if you do any of the activities listed below, these regulations will likely affect how you do them:
· You use the internet to research applicants or employees;
· You do post-offer, pre-employment physical examinations;
· You seek medical information when an employee requests a reasonable accommodation;
· You request medical certification to support leave requests under a state or federal family and medical leave law, or under a personnel policy;
· You have a wellness program which includes a health risk assessment;
· You issue or respond to discovery requests or subpoenas for medical information in employment litigation.
Larger employers likely engage in all of these activities; all but the smallest employers engage in at least one of them. So how will GINA affect how these activities are done? More to follow on that one, but employers have less than two months, until January 10, 2011, to “gain a satisfactory understanding” of, and comply with, these GINA regulations.