Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Federal Posting Requirements

Federal law requires postings in workplaces informing individuals of their rights under federal employment discrimination laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published a notice revising its “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” poster to provide information concerning the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) as well as changes to other federal laws. GINA becomes effective on November 21, 2009, 18 months after its enactment.

GINA protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on genetic information in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment. GINA also restricts employers’ acquisition of genetic information and strictly limits disclosure of genetic information. Genetic information includes information about genetic tests of applicants, employees or their family members; the manifestation of diseases or disorders in family members (e.g., family medical history); and requests for or receipt of genetic services by applicants, employees or their family members. It is suggested that employers may wish to update current handbook policies to incorporate language concerning GINA that is consistent with the new posting requirement. In addition, employers must comply with all other posting requirements mandated by federal and state laws. The new poster can be found at

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