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Deeper Understanding of The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is an important, recent legislation passed by the American Congress. Having come into effect from mid-2008; GINA is closely tied to, and is, in fact enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). GINA applies to organizations that employ 15 or more employees and labor organizations, employment agencies, and training programs, but exempts disability, long-term care, and life insurance providers.

As the title of this Act suggests, GINA prohibits using genetics as a basis for making decisions relating to employment. At its core, GINA seeks to protect individuals from discrimination based on genetic information. Genetic information can be any of these:

  • Medical information about a person
  • Medical history of the person’s family
  • Requiring or requesting an employee or her family members to take a genetic test
  • Results of tests relating to the person’s genetics, which includes the tests carried out on the person’s family members, as well as tests carried out in the fetus or embryo of the individual or any of her family members
  • Taking part in genetic services, counseling, or research
  • Making changes into premium plans based on genetic information.

Covers more areas of employment-related issues

The original intent of GINA was to ban discrimination in the insurance coverage area using genetics as a parameter. It gradually got extended to the health areas of employment, to those concerning collecting medical information about employees for wellness and other health related issues. Today, some of the genetic aspects of an employee that GINA prohibits include:

  • Compensation and related aspects of employment
  • Referrals
  • Training
  • Membership with any part of the organization
  • Perks and other privileges or opportunities related to employment
  • Termination.

GINA is thus a serious piece of legislation that needs to be complied with fully. It has its own exceptions, and many other aspects of this legislation are to be followed strictly. Employers who are required to implement the provisions set out in GINA need to have a clear and unambiguous understanding of how to apply the provisions as they relate to them.

Full learning on all aspects of GINA implementation

This learning will be imparted at a webinar that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be organizing.

The speaker at this webinar is Michael D. Haberman, who is a consultant, speaker, writer and teacher. He is co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. a consulting and services company that offers complete human resources solutions. To learn more about how to apply GINA at work, please register for this webinar by visiting  TrainHR

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This activity has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

GINA as it applies in day-to-day work

Michael will unravel the intricacies of this legislation. He will explain how to apply the provisions of GINA in an organization’s day-to-day work. Given that even noting an employee’s walking habits for some disease is proscribed by GINA; this places an additional burden on employers, who have to be careful when it comes to interacting with employees, physicians and insurance providers. Michael will explain all these aspects of GINA at this webinar.

HR professionals, office managers and owners of small businesses that come under the provisions of GINA will benefit immensely from this course, at which Michael will cover the following areas:

  • What Entities are covered?
  • What Employees are covered?
  • The Definition of  “genetic information”
  • How you can be exposed to genetic information
  • The Prohibitions of using genetic information
  • Paperwork and notification requirements
  • Enforcement.  

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