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EEOC Enters into Conciliation Agreement with Dermatology Practice to Resolve GINA Violations Associated with COVID-19

2022-07-21

Practice was collecting employees’ family members’ COVID-19 testing results

Normally, violations of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) are extremely uncommon, typically comprising only 0.5% of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) total caseload in FY 2021.

However, on July 7, 2022, EEOC entered into a conciliation agreement (CA) with a Florida-based dermatology practice, Brandon Dermatology, who agreed to cease collecting employees’ family members’ COVID-19 testing results.  This activity violates GINA, which prohibits employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information about applicants or employees and their family members, except in a few circumstances which were not relevant in this case. 

Brandon Dermatology is compensating affected employees through the restoration of leave time or back pay, as well as paying compensatory damages.  The practice will also review their COVID-19 policies; post a notice of the settlement and conduct training on EEO laws as they pertain to COVID-19.

For assistance with COVID-19 issues, refer to EEOC’s technical assistance tool, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws”  For more information on GINA, visit EEOC’s discrimination based on genetic information webpage.

Press release

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.