Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: GINA

EEOC’s wellness rules to be finalized early 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulatory agenda indicated that it intends to finalize its two rules governing employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) by February 2016. You can read about the proposed ADA changes here. The EEOC just recently published its proposal to amend the rules implementing GINA as they relate to employer wellness plans in late October, 2015. If adopted, these rules would allow an employer that offers a wellness program as part of a group health plan to provide limited financial and other incentives in …

Employer’s DNA test of employees in defecation investigation results in $2 million verdict for violating GINA while real “Poopetrator” remains on the loose

We would like to thank Adam Bennett, one of Porter Wright’s summer law clerks, for his significant contributions to this blog post.

If a recent federal court case is any sign of the times, employers should think twice before engaging in their own forensic crime scene style investigations of employee questionable behavior—even if the employee is suspected of repeatedly defecating in public areas of the workplace. Employers sometimes forget that the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits requesting employee genetic information. Any improper request for employee genetic information is likely to lead to legal woes and a lot of dollars …

Availability of alzheimer’s blood test underscores employer need to maintain confidentiality of protected health information

Recent media accounts (e.g. this report  — Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer’s Disease — by CNN ) suggest that medical researchers have discovered a blood test that will help identify whether people are likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease in their lifetime with 90% accuracy. So far, the test only has been conducted on individuals who are over 70 years old, but researchers will begin seeing whether these promising results can be obtained on people in their 40’s and 50’s. These research findings are obviously welcome news, but raise many questions assuming the test becomes more universally available. Not the …

USDOL FMLA Forms Have “Expired”

We have been receiving questions lately from clients and friends regarding the continued validity of the Department of Labor’s FMLA forms that we posted here. The Department has requested approval for the renewal of these forms from the federal Office of Management and Budget. In the meantime, employers may continue to use these forms. In order to comply with the Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act ("GINA"), however, employers should also send a note to the healthcare provider that includes the following safe harbor language recommended by the EEOC:

"The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other …

EEOC Charges Rise Significantly in 2010

According to statistics released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) earlier this week, the Agency received over 7% more charges in 2010 than it did the previous year—99,922 as compared to 93,277.  Indeed, the number of charges filed were up in every category.  The FY 2010 enforcement and litigation statistics, which include trend data, are available online here.

Such statistics are not surprising in light of the large number of layoffs that occurred in 2010, coupled with the difficulties terminated employees had in finding new employment in a down economy.  What is more interesting, however, is that, for the first …

Will GINA Impact Ohio Employers’ Ability to Conduct Medical Investigations In Workers’ Compensation Claims?

In the day-to-day administration of their Ohio workers’ compensation programs, self-insured employers (or a TPA or law firm on their behalf) often will obtain a medical authorization from the injured worker and then obtain medical records as part of the employers’ medical investigation. Though the authorization is often limited to specific injuries or body parts, they are just as likely not to be so limited. In addition, despite HIPAA requirements, healthcare providers often produce records in excess of what has been authorized (presumably because they don’t want to take the time or effort to cull through the records and produce only …

EEOC Issues Final Rule to Implement Title II of GINA

Earlier this week, the EEOC issued its final rule implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. As promised, we are following up with our analysis of the EEOC’s new rule.

The proposed regulations were issued in March 2009 for public comment. Title II took effect almost a year ago on November 21, 2009, before the regulations were finalized. GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in employment decisions and restricts employers and other entities from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information. Title II also requires that …

GINA Interim Final Regulations: Highlights and the Potential Impact on Group Health Plans

On October 7, 2009, the DOL, IRS, and HHS issued interim final regulations implementing Sections 101 to 103 of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). For group health plans, these regulations become effective on the first day of the plan year beginning on or after December 7, 2009. For the individual market, the regulations are effective December 7, 2009. The new regulations broaden GINA’s general prohibition on requesting or requiring an individual or their family member to undergo genetic testing. Of note is the new rule that health plans may not provide incentives to induce participants to fill …

EEOC Issues Proposed Rules to Implement Title II of GINA

On March 2, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed rules to implement Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

GINA, which was signed into law on May 21, 2008, prohibits health insurers and employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information. The EEOC is responsible for developing implementing regulations by May 21, 2009 for Title II, which applies to private and government employers. (See former blog post on May 21, 2008 entitled “Dream of GINA Now a Reality”). Generally, Title II prohibits employers from discharging, refusing to hire, or otherwise taking adverse employment action against applicants or …

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