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Genetic Information

One of the most recent laws enforced by EEOC relates to genetic information. The law provides a very specific definition for "genetic information." Genetic information includes information about your genetic tests and the genetic tests of your family members. Genetic information also includes information about any disease, disorder, or condition of your family members (your family medical history).

This law, Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, provides you with four basic rights:

  • The law prohibits employers from treating you differently, or less favorably, because of genetic information.
    • The law prohibits employers from making employment decisions because of genetic information.
    • The law prohibits employers, co-workers, or other people in the workplace from harassing you because of genetic information.
  • The law restricts employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information.
  • The law requires that employers keep genetic information confidential. It imposes strict limits on when and to whom employers may disclose genetic information.
  • The law protects you from being punished or harassed at work because you or someone you closely associate with (for example, a relative or close friend) complains about genetic information discrimination. We call this your right to be protected from retaliation.

Determining whether genetic information discrimination has occurred may be complicated. If you think the law may have been violated, you can call EEOC at 1-800-669-4000 to discuss the situation. You can also speak with your supervisor or another manager at the company, your parents, your teachers, or another trusted adult.

If you would like more information after reading the frequently asked questions, see the EEOC's Facts on Genetic Information Discrimination.