Shane Padilla


The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was enacted to prevent discrimination based on an employee’s genetic information. Although GINA undoubtedly provides employees protection from unjust genetic discrimination by employers, varying interpretations of what constitutes “genetic information” has raised legal uncertainties in how GINA is applied. Consequently, the genetic information of an employee’s family may be unduly placed at risk as a result of misinterpreting the statutory language and legislative intent of GINA. It is of the utmost importance that the definition of “genetic information” be construed with respect to the Act’s legislative history, which supports a broad interpretation and application of the term “genetic information.” By improperly narrowing the scope of what constitutes “genetic information,” the genetic privacy of an employee’s family is unnecessarily jeopardized. Furthermore, employers are offered a safe harbor when committing discriminatory acts based on genetic information that are difficult, if not impossible, to prove.