Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits local government employers with 15 or more employees from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed.  A city should not assume that since cities rarely require genetic testing that these regulations have no application to cities.  Genetic information can also include “family medical history.”  Therefore, while your city is unlikely to do genetic testing, you may gather family medical histories for FMLA leave administration, in the course of administering your wellness or insurance programs, or when conducting fitness for duty examinations.  Although there are exemptions for the acquisition of FMLA material and other incidental acquisitions of genetic information, cities should consult with their city attorney about any family medical histories or genetic information that are acquired by the city.

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