California Passes Broad Genetic Discrimination Legislation
As stated in the preamble “The State of California has a compelling public interest in realizing the medical promise of genomics. It also has a compelling public interest in relieving the fear of discrimination and in prohibiting its actual practice….Although Congress enacted the federal Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-233), its range of protections is incomplete for Californians”
While the law deals with insurance, housing and employment, we will focus on the employment law aspects.
- A violation of the right of any individual under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-336) shall also constitute a violation of this section.
- The new law defines genetic information as being about an individual’s genetic tests, tests of family members, or the manifestation of a disease or disorder among an individual’s family members, and it covers information from genetics services and participation in clinical research.
- Federal GINA’s range of genetic information and nondiscrimination protections is limited to employment and health insurance coverage. SB 559 ensures that the range of protections for Californians applies to all California civil rights laws and would include genetic information as a prohibited basis for discrimination.
You can read the Act by going to http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0551-0600/sb_559_bill_20110906_chaptered.pdf
Information on the bill posted by its author can be found by clicking here.