Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 protects employees from employment discrimination and denial of health insurance based on that employee’s genetic information. Title II of this Act applies to employees covered by the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA).

In recent years, science has discerned new ways to map, decode, and discover the human genome. This discovery has opened up a broader understanding of medicine and how genetics can create or affect medical conditions. These advances, however, could also give rise to the potential misuse of genetic information for the purpose of employment discrimination. Recent cases concerning genetic discrimination in the workplace show a compelling public interest to act in the area before more discrimination can take place.

GINA, as applied by the CAA, offers protections for employees, should any discrimination occur due to their genetic information, including an employing office’s knowledge of the employee’s family medical history. It also limits the employing office’s right to acquire genetic information about employees and places confidentiality requirements on any information that can be acquired.

For more information, please refer to the Congressional Accountability Act and the CAA Handbook.