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Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

What is GINA law?

GINA stands for Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. GINA is an Act of Congress in the United States is a purpose to stop the use of genetic information in health insurance and employment. This Act stops group health plans and health insurance agencies from denying the coverage to a healthy person or charging that person higher premiums because of a genetic pre-disposition to developing a disease in the near future. Read below where many people have come to ask an Expert regarding the top commonly asked questions when dealing with GINA laws.

In the state of Ohio can an employer require employees to provide their medical history, prescriptions to a third party so the company can receive insurance quotes? Can the employee be terminated for not providing this information?

In most situations, an employer does have the right to terminate employees for any reason in the state of Ohio, since this state is considered “At Will”. The employee does not have to provide the employer with their consent to release any medical records, but the employer will have the right to request it in order to decide the company’s health care costs or to change the company’s health care coverage. If the employee refuses to give the employer this information, then it is the employee’s legal right to do this, but also the employer has the right to fire the employee for any reason at all, this includes not providing the information that the employer has asked for. With that being said, the employer can only terminate if it is not based upon discrimination for asking for the information under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) law or violating the HIPPA law.

What is a reasonable amount to receive when asking for compensation damages that involved Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a violation of GINA?

There is a limit when deciding a compensation damages in GINA cases ranging from $50,000 for employers with between 15-100 employees and $300,000 for employers who have more than 500 employees. When deciding an appropriate amount for damages, the applicant would ask for the maximum that is allowed by law. Compensatory damages are normally meant to make the applicant whole and normally awarded to cover the actual damages such as emotional, pain and suffering, mental impairment and medical bills.

Is it legal for a supervisor to discuss medical issues about an employee to other employees?

If the employer was in violation of the employee’s privacy rights, and the employee can show the employer of their concerns, and state that the employee has been violated of their privacy rights. Under Title II of the Genetic Information Act (GINA), it is illegal to discriminate against another employee or applicants because of genetic information. This Title forbids the use of genetic information when making employment decisions, restricts gaining genetic information from employers. The employee may also have a State law violation and can contact the State department of Civil Rights. For more information regarding GINA laws ask an Expert.

Can an employee report a hostile work environment that is cause from their customers, because of the employee’s ethnic surname?

The employee can file a complaint for a hostile work environment if the employee feels as if they have been discriminated against because of their nationality. There are no Federal “hostile work environment laws” or “hostile workplace laws” that state this. When creating a hostile work environment it is prohibited under many Federal discrimination laws. The victim or witness must believe that the hostile work environment is a condition that has continued in this employment. That means that the victim or witness must believe that they have no choice, but to leave the workplace because of this environment. Listed below are some of the specific Federal discrimination laws that have been prohibited to create this sort or workplace based on discrimination, harassment:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
• Americans with Disabilities Act
• Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Is it legal for employers to require employees to participate in providing personal health information and provide medical samples such as blood and cholesterol tests to sign up for the company’s health insurance?

The employer can simply be telling the employees that this is all being done because of new health care law, but none of this has anything to do with the health care law. Many employers are starting this with their employees, because these programs encourage better health, insurance companies often time offer lower rates. The employer is only doing this because the employer wants to cut down as much as they can when it comes to health insurance premiums. If the employee does choose to not participate, then they don’t have to. Then the employee may be responsible for higher insurance costs. Keep in mind that the Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 forbids genetic information discrimination in employment. The Constitution restricts what the government can do. The Constitution does not apply to those who work in a private workplace setting.

Many questions arise when an employee feels their employer has violated the GINA laws. Ask an Expert for legal answers and insight for many complex questions that can arise when trying to better understand what a GINA law is.
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