The EEOC Has Issued Final Regulations Implementing GINA
By Maria A. Audero, Cameron W. Fox & Philippe Lebel
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was signed into law on May 21, 2008, and it is codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000ff et seq. Title II of GINA contains its employment-related provisions, which prohibit using genetic information in the employment context, restrict employers and other covered entities from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limit the disclosure of such information.
Under GINAs Title II, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was required to issue regulations implementing the law. On March 2, 2009, the EEOC published proposed regulations, on which it received public comment over a two-month period. On November 9, 2010, the EEOC issued its final regulations, which incorporate and respond to the comments and which will become effective on January 10, 2011. These long-awaited final regulations address areas of uncertainty that have troubled employers since the enactment of GINA, although they still leave some practical questions unanswered.