The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it has entered into a settlement with BNV Home Care Agency, Inc. (BNV) for $125,000 for violations of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
According to the EEOC, BNV violated GINA by engaging in the “unlawful practice of collecting employees’ and applicants’ genetic information by asking them questions about their family medical history on an employee health assessment form.”
In the announcement of the settlement, the EEOC stated “Forcing employees and applicants to provide genetic information in order to maintain or obtain their jobs is clearly against federal law and EEOC will continue to combat this form of discrimination…Employers should take heed of this settlement, because there are tangible consequences to unlawfully asking employees and applicants about their family medical history, which has been prohibited since the enactment of GINA in 2008.”
In addition to the fine, which will be paid to the class members of employees who were asked the prohibited questions, BNV is required to update its health assessment form to delete those questions and to provide anti-discrimination training to its employees.
This settlement is important guidance to companies to review their health assessment forms for compliance with GINA.