42 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
CHAPTER 21F - PROHIBITING EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENETIC INFORMATION
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 21F—PROHIBITING EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENETIC INFORMATION

Sec.
2000ff.
Definitions.
2000ff–1.
Employer practices.
2000ff–2.
Employment agency practices.
2000ff–3.
Labor organization practices.
2000ff–4.
Training programs.
2000ff–5.
Confidentiality of genetic information.
2000ff–6.
Remedies and enforcement.
2000ff–7.
Disparate impact.
2000ff–8.
Construction.
2000ff–9.
Medical information that is not genetic information.
2000ff–10.
Regulations.
2000ff–11.
Authorization of appropriations.

        

§2000ff. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) Commission

The term “Commission” means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as created by section 2000e–4 of this title.

(2) Employee; employer; employment agency; labor organization; member

(A) In general

The term “employee” means—

(i) an employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 2000e(f) of this title;

(ii) a State employee (including an applicant) described in section 2000e–16c(a) of this title;

(iii) a covered employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 1301 of title 2;

(iv) a covered employee (including an applicant), as defined in section 411(c) of title 3; or

(v) an employee or applicant to which section 2000e–16(a) of this title applies.

(B) Employer

The term “employer” means—

(i) an employer (as defined in section 2000e(b) of this title);

(ii) an entity employing a State employee described in section 2000e–16c(a) of this title;

(iii) an employing office, as defined in section 1301 of title 2;

(iv) an employing office, as defined in section 411(c) of title 3; or

(v) an entity to which section 2000e–16(a) of this title applies.

(C) Employment agency; labor organization

The terms “employment agency” and “labor organization” have the meanings given the terms in section 2000e of this title.

(D) Member

The term “member”, with respect to a labor organization, includes an applicant for membership in a labor organization.

(3) Family member

The term “family member” means, with respect to an individual—

(A) a dependent (as such term is used for purposes of section 1181(f)(2) of title 29) of such individual, and

(B) any other individual who is a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative of such individual or of an individual described in subparagraph (A).

(4) Genetic information

(A) In general

The term “genetic information” means, with respect to any individual, information about—

(i) such individual's genetic tests,

(ii) the genetic tests of family members of such individual, and

(iii) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of such individual.

(B) Inclusion of genetic services and participation in genetic research

Such term includes, with respect to any individual, any request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or participation in clinical research which includes genetic services, by such individual or any family member of such individual.

(C) Exclusions

The term “genetic information” shall not include information about the sex or age of any individual.

(5) Genetic monitoring

The term “genetic monitoring” means the periodic examination of employees to evaluate acquired modifications to their genetic material, such as chromosomal damage or evidence of increased occurrence of mutations, that may have developed in the course of employment due to exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, in order to identify, evaluate, and respond to the effects of or control adverse environmental exposures in the workplace.

(6) Genetic services

The term “genetic services” means—

(A) a genetic test;

(B) genetic counseling (including obtaining, interpreting, or assessing genetic information); or

(C) genetic education.

(7) Genetic test

(A) In general

The term “genetic test” means an analysis of human DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, or metabolites, that detects genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes.

(B) Exceptions

The term “genetic test” does not mean an analysis of proteins or metabolites that does not detect genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §201, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 905.)

Effective Date

Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §213, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 920, provided that: “This title [enacting this chapter] takes effect on the date that is 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [May 21, 2008].”

Short Title

Pub. L. 110–233, §1(a), May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 881, provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter, sections 300gg–53 and 1320d–9 of this title, and section 9834 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, amending sections 300gg–1, 300gg–21, 300gg–22, 300gg–61, 300gg–91, and 1395ss of this title, sections 9802 and 9832 of Title 26, and sections 216, 1132, 1182, and 1191b of Title 29, Labor, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, sections 300gg–1, 1320d–9, and 1395ss of this title, section 9802 of Title 26, and sections 216 and 1132 of Title 29] may be cited as the ‘Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008’.”

Severability

Pub. L. 110–233, title III, §301, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 920, provided that: “If any provision of this Act [see Short Title note above], an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of such provisions to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.”

Findings

Pub. L. 110–233, §2, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 881, as amended by Pub. L. 111–256, §2(j), Oct. 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 2644, provided that: “Congress makes the following findings:

“(1) Deciphering the sequence of the human genome and other advances in genetics open major new opportunities for medical progress. New knowledge about the genetic basis of illness will allow for earlier detection of illnesses, often before symptoms have begun. Genetic testing can allow individuals to take steps to reduce the likelihood that they will contract a particular disorder. New knowledge about genetics may allow for the development of better therapies that are more effective against disease or have fewer side effects than current treatments. These advances give rise to the potential misuse of genetic information to discriminate in health insurance and employment.

“(2) The early science of genetics became the basis of State laws that provided for the sterilization of persons having presumed genetic ‘defects’ such as intellectual disabilities, mental disease, epilepsy, blindness, and hearing loss, among other conditions. The first sterilization law was enacted in the State of Indiana in 1907. By 1981, a majority of States adopted sterilization laws to ‘correct’ apparent genetic traits or tendencies. Many of these State laws have since been repealed, and many have been modified to include essential constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection. However, the current explosion in the science of genetics, and the history of sterilization laws by the States based on early genetic science, compels Congressional action in this area.

“(3) Although genes are facially neutral markers, many genetic conditions and disorders are associated with particular racial and ethnic groups and gender. Because some genetic traits are most prevalent in particular groups, members of a particular group may be stigmatized or discriminated against as a result of that genetic information. This form of discrimination was evident in the 1970s, which saw the advent of programs to screen and identify carriers of sickle cell anemia, a disease which afflicts African-Americans. Once again, State legislatures began to enact discriminatory laws in the area, and in the early 1970s began mandating genetic screening of all African Americans for sickle cell anemia, leading to discrimination and unnecessary fear. To alleviate some of this stigma, Congress in 1972 passed the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act [Pub. L. 92–294, see Tables for classification], which withholds Federal funding from States unless sickle cell testing is voluntary.

“(4) Congress has been informed of examples of genetic discrimination in the workplace. These include the use of pre-employment genetic screening at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, which led to a court decision in favor of the employees in that case [sic] Norman-Bloodsaw v. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (135 F.3d 1260, 1269 (9th Cir. 1998)). Congress clearly has a compelling public interest in relieving the fear of discrimination and in prohibiting its actual practice in employment and health insurance.

“(5) Federal law addressing genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment is incomplete in both the scope and depth of its protections. Moreover, while many States have enacted some type of genetic non-discrimination law, these laws vary widely with respect to their approach, application, and level of protection. Congress has collected substantial evidence that the American public and the medical community find the existing patchwork of State and Federal laws to be confusing and inadequate to protect them from discrimination. Therefore Federal legislation establishing a national and uniform basic standard is necessary to fully protect the public from discrimination and allay their concerns about the potential for discrimination, thereby allowing individuals to take advantage of genetic testing, technologies, research, and new therapies.”

[For meaning of references to an intellectual disability and to individuals with intellectual disabilities in provisions amended by section 2 of Pub. L. 111–256, see section 2(k) of Pub. L. 111–256, set out as a note under section 1400 of Title 20, Education.]

§2000ff–1. Employer practices

(a) Discrimination based on genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer—

(1) to fail or refuse to hire, or to discharge, any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any employee with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of the employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee; or

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the employees of the employer in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any employee of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status of the employee as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the employee.

(b) Acquisition of genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee or a family member of the employee except—

(1) where an employer inadvertently requests or requires family medical history of the employee or family member of the employee;

(2) where—

(A) health or genetic services are offered by the employer, including such services offered as part of a wellness program;

(B) the employee provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization;

(C) only the employee (or family member if the family member is receiving genetic services) and the licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor involved in providing such services receive individually identifiable information concerning the results of such services; and

(D) any individually identifiable genetic information provided under subparagraph (C) in connection with the services provided under subparagraph (A) is only available for purposes of such services and shall not be disclosed to the employer except in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific employees;


(3) where an employer requests or requires family medical history from the employee to comply with the certification provisions of section 2613 of title 29 or such requirements under State family and medical leave laws;

(4) where an employer purchases documents that are commercially and publicly available (including newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and books, but not including medical databases or court records) that include family medical history;

(5) where the information involved is to be used for genetic monitoring of the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace, but only if—

(A) the employer provides written notice of the genetic monitoring to the employee;

(B)(i) the employee provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization; or

(ii) the genetic monitoring is required by Federal or State law;

(C) the employee is informed of individual monitoring results;

(D) the monitoring is in compliance with—

(i) any Federal genetic monitoring regulations, including any such regulations that may be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(ii) State genetic monitoring regulations, in the case of a State that is implementing genetic monitoring regulations under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); and


(E) the employer, excluding any licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor that is involved in the genetic monitoring program, receives the results of the monitoring only in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific employees; or


(6) where the employer conducts DNA analysis for law enforcement purposes as a forensic laboratory or for purposes of human remains identification, and requests or requires genetic information of such employer's employees, but only to the extent that such genetic information is used for analysis of DNA identification markers for quality control to detect sample contamination.

(c) Preservation of protections

In the case of information to which any of paragraphs (1) through (6) of subsection (b) applies, such information may not be used in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) or treated or disclosed in a manner that violates section 2000ff–5 of this title.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §202, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 907.)

References in Text

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D), is Pub. L. 91–596, Dec. 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, which is classified principally to chapter 15 (§651 et seq.) of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 651 of Title 29 and Tables.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, which is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of Title 30 and Tables.

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is act Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, as added by act Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1073, §1, 68 Stat. 921, which is classified generally to chapter 23 (§2011 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2011 of this title and Tables.

§2000ff–2. Employment agency practices

(a) Discrimination based on genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency—

(1) to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of genetic information with respect to the individual;

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify individuals or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect the status of the individual as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the individual; or

(3) to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this chapter.

(b) Acquisition of genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an individual or a family member of the individual except—

(1) where an employment agency inadvertently requests or requires family medical history of the individual or family member of the individual;

(2) where—

(A) health or genetic services are offered by the employment agency, including such services offered as part of a wellness program;

(B) the individual provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization;

(C) only the individual (or family member if the family member is receiving genetic services) and the licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor involved in providing such services receive individually identifiable information concerning the results of such services; and

(D) any individually identifiable genetic information provided under subparagraph (C) in connection with the services provided under subparagraph (A) is only available for purposes of such services and shall not be disclosed to the employment agency except in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific individuals;


(3) where an employment agency requests or requires family medical history from the individual to comply with the certification provisions of section 2613 of title 29 or such requirements under State family and medical leave laws;

(4) where an employment agency purchases documents that are commercially and publicly available (including newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and books, but not including medical databases or court records) that include family medical history; or

(5) where the information involved is to be used for genetic monitoring of the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace, but only if—

(A) the employment agency provides written notice of the genetic monitoring to the individual;

(B)(i) the individual provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization; or

(ii) the genetic monitoring is required by Federal or State law;

(C) the individual is informed of individual monitoring results;

(D) the monitoring is in compliance with—

(i) any Federal genetic monitoring regulations, including any such regulations that may be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(ii) State genetic monitoring regulations, in the case of a State that is implementing genetic monitoring regulations under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); and


(E) the employment agency, excluding any licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor that is involved in the genetic monitoring program, receives the results of the monitoring only in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific individuals.

(c) Preservation of protections

In the case of information to which any of paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (b) applies, such information may not be used in violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) or treated or disclosed in a manner that violates section 2000ff–5 of this title.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §203, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 908.)

References in Text

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D), is Pub. L. 91–596, Dec. 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, which is classified principally to chapter 15 (§651 et seq.) of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 651 of Title 29 and Tables.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, which is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of Title 30 and Tables.

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is act Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, as added by act Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1073, §1, 68 Stat. 921, which is classified generally to chapter 23 (§2011 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2011 of this title and Tables.

§2000ff–3. Labor organization practices

(a) Discrimination based on genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization—

(1) to exclude or to expel from the membership of the organization, or otherwise to discriminate against, any member because of genetic information with respect to the member;

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the members of the organization, or fail or refuse to refer for employment any member, in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any member of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect the status of the member as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the member; or

(3) to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against a member in violation of this chapter.

(b) Acquisition of genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to a member or a family member of the member except—

(1) where a labor organization inadvertently requests or requires family medical history of the member or family member of the member;

(2) where—

(A) health or genetic services are offered by the labor organization, including such services offered as part of a wellness program;

(B) the member provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization;

(C) only the member (or family member if the family member is receiving genetic services) and the licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor involved in providing such services receive individually identifiable information concerning the results of such services; and

(D) any individually identifiable genetic information provided under subparagraph (C) in connection with the services provided under subparagraph (A) is only available for purposes of such services and shall not be disclosed to the labor organization except in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific members;


(3) where a labor organization requests or requires family medical history from the members to comply with the certification provisions of section 2613 of title 29 or such requirements under State family and medical leave laws;

(4) where a labor organization purchases documents that are commercially and publicly available (including newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and books, but not including medical databases or court records) that include family medical history; or

(5) where the information involved is to be used for genetic monitoring of the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace, but only if—

(A) the labor organization provides written notice of the genetic monitoring to the member;

(B)(i) the member provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization; or

(ii) the genetic monitoring is required by Federal or State law;

(C) the member is informed of individual monitoring results;

(D) the monitoring is in compliance with—

(i) any Federal genetic monitoring regulations, including any such regulations that may be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(ii) State genetic monitoring regulations, in the case of a State that is implementing genetic monitoring regulations under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); and


(E) the labor organization, excluding any licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor that is involved in the genetic monitoring program, receives the results of the monitoring only in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific members.

(c) Preservation of protections

In the case of information to which any of paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (b) applies, such information may not be used in violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) or treated or disclosed in a manner that violates section 2000ff–5 of this title.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §204, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 910.)

References in Text

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D), is Pub. L. 91–596, Dec. 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, which is classified principally to chapter 15 (§651 et seq.) of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 651 of Title 29 and Tables.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, which is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of Title 30 and Tables.

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is act Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, as added by act Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1073, §1, 68 Stat. 921, which is classified generally to chapter 23 (§2011 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2011 of this title and Tables.

§2000ff–4. Training programs

(a) Discrimination based on genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for any employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs—

(1) to discriminate against any individual because of genetic information with respect to the individual in admission to, or employment in, any program established to provide apprenticeship or other training or retraining;

(2) to limit, segregate, or classify the applicants for or participants in such apprenticeship or other training or retraining, or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual, in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or otherwise adversely affect the status of the individual as an employee, because of genetic information with respect to the individual; or

(3) to cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an applicant for or a participant in such apprenticeship or other training or retraining in violation of this chapter.

(b) Acquisition of genetic information

It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee described in subsection (a) to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an individual or a family member of the individual except—

(1) where the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee inadvertently requests or requires family medical history of the individual or family member of the individual;

(2) where—

(A) health or genetic services are offered by the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee, including such services offered as part of a wellness program;

(B) the individual provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization;

(C) only the individual (or family member if the family member is receiving genetic services) and the licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor involved in providing such services receive individually identifiable information concerning the results of such services; and

(D) any individually identifiable genetic information provided under subparagraph (C) in connection with the services provided under subparagraph (A) is only available for purposes of such services and shall not be disclosed to the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee except in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific individuals;


(3) where the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee requests or requires family medical history from the individual to comply with the certification provisions of section 2613 of title 29 or such requirements under State family and medical leave laws;

(4) where the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee purchases documents that are commercially and publicly available (including newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and books, but not including medical databases or court records) that include family medical history;

(5) where the information involved is to be used for genetic monitoring of the biological effects of toxic substances in the workplace, but only if—

(A) the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee provides written notice of the genetic monitoring to the individual;

(B)(i) the individual provides prior, knowing, voluntary, and written authorization; or

(ii) the genetic monitoring is required by Federal or State law;

(C) the individual is informed of individual monitoring results;

(D) the monitoring is in compliance with—

(i) any Federal genetic monitoring regulations, including any such regulations that may be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.), the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); or

(ii) State genetic monitoring regulations, in the case of a State that is implementing genetic monitoring regulations under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); and


(E) the employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee, excluding any licensed health care professional or board certified genetic counselor that is involved in the genetic monitoring program, receives the results of the monitoring only in aggregate terms that do not disclose the identity of specific individuals; or


(6) where the employer conducts DNA analysis for law enforcement purposes as a forensic laboratory or for purposes of human remains identification, and requests or requires genetic information of such employer's apprentices or trainees, but only to the extent that such genetic information is used for analysis of DNA identification markers for quality control to detect sample contamination.

(c) Preservation of protections

In the case of information to which any of paragraphs (1) through (6) of subsection (b) applies, such information may not be used in violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) or treated or disclosed in a manner that violates section 2000ff–5 of this title.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §205, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 911.)

References in Text

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D), is Pub. L. 91–596, Dec. 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 1590, which is classified principally to chapter 15 (§651 et seq.) of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 651 of Title 29 and Tables.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, which is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of Title 30 and Tables.

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, referred to in subsec. (b)(5)(D)(i), is act Aug. 1, 1946, ch. 724, as added by act Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1073, §1, 68 Stat. 921, which is classified generally to chapter 23 (§2011 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2011 of this title and Tables.

§2000ff–5. Confidentiality of genetic information

(a) Treatment of information as part of confidential medical record

If an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee possesses genetic information about an employee or member, such information shall be maintained on separate forms and in separate medical files and be treated as a confidential medical record of the employee or member. An employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee shall be considered to be in compliance with the maintenance of information requirements of this subsection with respect to genetic information subject to this subsection that is maintained with and treated as a confidential medical record under section 12112(d)(3)(B) of this title.

(b) Limitation on disclosure

An employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee shall not disclose genetic information concerning an employee or member except—

(1) to the employee or member of a labor organization (or family member if the family member is receiving the genetic services) at the written request of the employee or member of such organization;

(2) to an occupational or other health researcher if the research is conducted in compliance with the regulations and protections provided for under part 46 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations;

(3) in response to an order of a court, except that—

(A) the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee may disclose only the genetic information expressly authorized by such order; and

(B) if the court order was secured without the knowledge of the employee or member to whom the information refers, the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee shall inform the employee or member of the court order and any genetic information that was disclosed pursuant to such order;


(4) to government officials who are investigating compliance with this chapter if the information is relevant to the investigation;

(5) to the extent that such disclosure is made in connection with the employee's compliance with the certification provisions of section 2613 of title 29 or such requirements under State family and medical leave laws; or

(6) to a Federal, State, or local public health agency only with regard to information that is described in section 2000ff(4)(A)(iii) of this title and that concerns a contagious disease that presents an imminent hazard of death or life-threatening illness, and that the employee whose family member or family members is or are the subject of a disclosure under this paragraph is notified of such disclosure.

(c) Relationship to HIPAA regulations

With respect to the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under part C of title XI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d et seq.) and section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2 note), this chapter does not prohibit a covered entity under such regulations from any use or disclosure of health information that is authorized for the covered entity under such regulations. The previous sentence does not affect the authority of such Secretary to modify such regulations.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §206, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 913.)

References in Text

Section 12112(d)(3)(B) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original “section 102(d)(3)(B) of the Americans With Disabilities Act”, and was translated as meaning “section 102(d)(3)(B) of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990” to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

The Social Security Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is act Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, 49 Stat. 620. Part C of title XI of the Act is classified generally to part C (§1320d et seq.) of subchapter XI of chapter 7 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1305 of this title and Tables.

Section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, referred to in subsec. (c), is section 264 of Pub. L. 104–191, which is set out as a note under section 1320d–2 of this title.

§2000ff–6. Remedies and enforcement

(a) Employees covered by title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

(1) In general

The powers, procedures, and remedies provided in sections 705, 706, 707, 709, 710, and 711 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000e–4 to 2000e–6, 2000e–8 to 2000e–10] to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person, alleging a violation of title VII of that Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.) shall be the powers, procedures, and remedies this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter against an employee described in section 2000ff(2)(A)(i) of this title, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 1988 of this title,1 shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person, alleging such a practice.

(3) Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1981a of this title, including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1981a, shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, or any person, alleging such a practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1981a(a)(1) of this title).

(b) Employees covered by Government Employee Rights Act of 1991

(1) In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in sections 302 and 304 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16b, 2000e–16c) to the Commission, or any person, alleging a violation of section 302(a)(1) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16b(a)(1)) shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter against an employee described in section 2000ff(2)(A)(ii) of this title, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 1988 of this title,1 shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, or any person, alleging such a practice.

(3) Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1981a of this title, including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1981a, shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, or any person, alleging such a practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1981a(a)(1) of this title).

(c) Employees covered by Congressional Accountability Act of 1995

(1) In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) to the Board (as defined in section 101 of that Act (2 U.S.C. 1301)), or any person, alleging a violation of section 201(a)(1) of that Act [2 U.S.C. 1311(a)(1)] shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to that Board, or any person, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter against an employee described in section 2000ff(2)(A)(iii) of this title, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 1988 of this title,1 shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to that Board, or any person, alleging such a practice.

(3) Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1981a of this title, including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1981a, shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to that Board, or any person, alleging such a practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1981a(a)(1) of this title).

(4) Other applicable provisions

With respect to a claim alleging a practice described in paragraph (1), title III of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) shall apply in the same manner as such title applies with respect to a claim alleging a violation of section 201(a)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1311(a)(1)).

(d) Employees covered by chapter 5 of title 3

(1) In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in chapter 5 of title 3 to the President, the Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, or any person, alleging a violation of section 411(a)(1) of that title, shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the President, the Commission, such Board, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter against an employee described in section 2000ff(2)(A)(iv) of this title, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 1988 of this title,1 shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the President, the Commission, such Board, or any person, alleging such a practice.

(3) Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1981a of this title, including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1981a, shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the President, the Commission, such Board, or any person, alleging such a practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1981a(a)(1) of this title).

(e) Employees covered by section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

(1) In general

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16) to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person, alleging a violation of that section shall be the powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person, respectively, alleging an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter against an employee or applicant described in section 2000ff(2)(A)(v) of this title, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) Costs and fees

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in subsections (b) and (c) of section 1988 of this title,1 shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person, alleging such a practice.

(3) Damages

The powers, remedies, and procedures provided in section 1981a of this title, including the limitations contained in subsection (b)(3) of such section 1981a, shall be powers, remedies, and procedures this chapter provides to the Commission, the Attorney General, the Librarian of Congress, or any person, alleging such a practice (not an employment practice specifically excluded from coverage under section 1981a(a)(1) of this title).

(f) Prohibition against retaliation

No person shall discriminate against any individual because such individual has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by this chapter or because such individual made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this chapter. The remedies and procedures otherwise provided for under this section shall be available to aggrieved individuals with respect to violations of this subsection.

(g) Definition

In this section, the term “Commission” means the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §207, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 914.)

References in Text

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 88–352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 241. Title VII of the Act is classified generally to subchapter VI (§2000e et seq.) of chapter 21 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000a of this title and Tables.

The Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, referred to in subsec. (b), is title III of Pub. L. 102–166, Nov. 21, 1991, 105 Stat. 1088, which is classified generally to sections 2000e–16a to 2000e–16c of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 2000e–16a(a) of Title 42 and Tables.

The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), (4), is Pub. L. 104–1, Jan. 23, 1995, 109 Stat. 3, which is classified principally to chapter 24 (§1301 et seq.) of Title 2, The Congress. Title III of the Act is classified generally to subchapter III (§1381 et seq.) of chapter 24 of Title 2. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note under section 1301 of Title 2 and Tables.

1 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

§2000ff–7. Disparate impact

(a) General rule

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, “disparate impact”, as that term is used in section 2000e–2(k) of this title, on the basis of genetic information does not establish a cause of action under this Act.

(b) Commission

On the date that is 6 years after May 21, 2008, there shall be established a commission, to be known as the Genetic Nondiscrimination Study Commission (referred to in this section as the “Commission”) to review the developing science of genetics and to make recommendations to Congress regarding whether to provide a disparate impact cause of action under this Act.

(c) Membership

(1) In general

The Commission shall be composed of 8 members, of which—

(A) 1 member shall be appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate;

(B) 1 member shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate;

(C) 1 member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate;

(D) 1 member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate;

(E) 1 member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(F) 1 member shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives;

(G) 1 member shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives; and

(H) 1 member shall be appointed by the ranking minority member of the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives.

(2) Compensation and expenses

The members of the Commission shall not receive compensation for the performance of services for the Commission, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission.

(d) Administrative provisions

(1) Location

The Commission shall be located in a facility maintained by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

(2) Detail of Government employees

Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) Information from Federal agencies

The Commission may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Upon request of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Commission.

(4) Hearings

The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out the objectives of this section, except that, to the extent possible, the Commission shall use existing data and research.

(5) Postal services

The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

(e) Report

Not later than 1 year after all of the members are appointed to the Commission under subsection (c)(1), the Commission shall submit to Congress a report that summarizes the findings of the Commission and makes such recommendations for legislation as are consistent with this Act.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §208, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 917.)

References in Text

This Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (b), and (e), is Pub. L. 110–233, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 881, known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2000ff of this title and Tables.

§2000ff–8. Construction

(a) In general

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to—

(1) limit the rights or protections of an individual under any other Federal or State statute that provides equal or greater protection to an individual than the rights or protections provided for under this chapter, including the protections of an individual under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) (including coverage afforded to individuals under section 102 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12112)), or under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.);

(2)(A) limit the rights or protections of an individual to bring an action under this chapter against an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee for a violation of this chapter; or

(B) provide for enforcement of, or penalties for violation of, any requirement or prohibition applicable to any employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee subject to enforcement for a violation under—

(i) the amendments made by title I of this Act;

(ii)(I) subsection (a) of section 1181 of title 29 as such section applies with respect to genetic information pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(B) of such section;

(II) section 1182(a)(1)(F) of title 29; or

(III) section 1182(b)(1) of title 29 as such section applies with respect to genetic information as a health status-related factor;

(iii)(I) subsection (a) of section 2701 1 of the Public Health Service Act as such section applies with respect to genetic information pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(B) of such section;

(II) section 2702(a)(1)(F) 1 of such Act; or

(III) section 2702(b)(1) 1 of such Act as such section applies with respect to genetic information as a health status-related factor; or

(iv)(I) subsection (a) of section 9801 of title 26 as such section applies with respect to genetic information pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(B) of such section;

(II) section 9802(a)(1)(F) of title 26; or

(III) section 9802(b)(1) of title 26 as such section applies with respect to genetic information as a health status-related factor;


(3) apply to the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains;

(4) limit or expand the protections, rights, or obligations of employees or employers under applicable workers’ compensation laws;

(5) limit the authority of a Federal department or agency to conduct or sponsor occupational or other health research that is conducted in compliance with the regulations contained in part 46 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding or similar regulation or rule);

(6) limit the statutory or regulatory authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the Mine Safety and Health Administration to promulgate or enforce workplace safety and health laws and regulations; or

(7) require any specific benefit for an employee or member or a family member of an employee or member under any group health plan or health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan.

(b) Genetic information of a fetus or embryo

Any reference in this chapter to genetic information concerning an individual or family member of an individual shall—

(1) with respect to such an individual or family member of an individual who is a pregnant woman, include genetic information of any fetus carried by such pregnant woman; and

(2) with respect to an individual or family member utilizing an assisted reproductive technology, include genetic information of any embryo legally held by the individual or family member.

(c) Relation to authorities under title I

With respect to a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, this chapter does not prohibit any activity of such plan or issuer that is authorized for the plan or issuer under any provision of law referred to in clauses (i) through (iv) of subsection (a)(2)(B).

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §209, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 918.)

References in Text

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is Pub. L. 101–336, July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 327, which is classified principally to chapter 126 (§12101 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 12101 of this title and Tables.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is Pub. L. 93–112, Sept. 26, 1973, 87 Stat. 355, which is classified generally to chapter 16 (§701 et seq.) of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 701 of Title 29 and Tables.

Title I, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2)(B)(i) and (c), means title I of Pub. L. 110–233. For complete classification of title I to the Code, see Tables.

Section 2701 of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(B)(iii)(I), is section 2701 of act July 1, 1944, which was classified to section 300gg of this title, was renumbered section 2704, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, with certain exceptions, and amended, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1201(2), 1563(c)(1), formerly §1562(c)(1), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 154, 264, 911, and was transferred to section 300gg–3 of this title. A new section 2701 of act July 1, 1944, related to fair health insurance premiums, was added, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, and amended, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1201(4), title X, §10103(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 155, 892, and is classified to section 300gg of this title.

Section 2702 of the Public Health Service Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(B)(iii)(II), (III), is section 2702 of act July 1, 1944, which was classified to section 300gg–1 of this title, was amended by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1201(3), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 154, and was transferred to subsecs. (d) to (f) of section 300gg–4 of this title, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014. A new section 2702 of act July 1, 1944, related to guaranteed availability of coverage, was added by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1201(4), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 156, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, and is classified to section 300gg–1 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§2000ff–9. Medical information that is not genetic information

An employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee shall not be considered to be in violation of this chapter based on the use, acquisition, or disclosure of medical information that is not genetic information about a manifested disease, disorder, or pathological condition of an employee or member, including a manifested disease, disorder, or pathological condition that has or may have a genetic basis.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §210, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 920.)

§2000ff–10. Regulations

Not later than 1 year after May 21, 2008, the Commission shall issue final regulations to carry out this chapter.

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §211, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 920.)

§2000ff–11. Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this chapter (except for section 2000ff–7 of this title).

(Pub. L. 110–233, title II, §212, May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 920.)