Client Alert

President Signs Landmark Genetic Nondiscrimination Bill

May 23, 2008

Neal Mollen and Debra Hunter

President Bush has signed legislation known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that prohibits employers and health insurers from discriminating against individuals based on the genetic predisposition toward a disease. More than a decade in the making, GINA is the result of bipartisan efforts to encourage genetic testing, and allay individuals privacy fears. Supporters of the legislation have claimed that many individuals have failed to get necessary testing about their genetic predisposition toward specific diseases because they were afraid that they would suffer adverse consequences with their insurers or their employers if genetic markers were disclosed.

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Employment Law

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