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Genetic Discrimination

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Current Events

Canadian 41st Parliament Passes New Law, S-201 "Genetic Non-Discrimination Act": Canadian lawmakers passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act on March 8, 2017. This law would make it illegal for employers or insurance companies in Canada to discriminate against people based on their genetic information.

United States 115th Congress Introduces New Bill, H.R. 1313 "Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act": This bill, which relates to GINA in the context of wellness programs, was introduced in the US House of Representatives on March 2, 2017. It must be passed by the House and Senate and receive the President's signature to become law. For more information, please refer the "GINA and Employee Wellness Programs" section of this resource. 

Overview

Many Americans fear that participating in research or undergoing genetic testing will lead to being discriminated against based on their genetics. Such fears may dissuade patients from taking genomics-based clinical tests or volunteering to participate in the research necessary for the development of new tests, therapies, and cures. To address this, in 2008 the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed into law, prohibiting discrimination by employers and health insurers. There are also other legal protections against genetic discrimination by employers, health insurers, and others.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 protects Americans from discrimination based on their genetic information in both health insurance (Title I) and employment (Title II). Read more

Genetic Discrimination and Other Laws

Genetic Discrimination and Other Laws includes the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, The Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other resources

Legislative History of GINA

In 1995, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the first federal legislation limiting genetic discrimination, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in Health Insurance of 1995. 

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Last Updated: April 20, 2017