Although such cases arise only rarely, genetic discrimination is illegal under the law. Genetic discrimination occurs when an employer or health insurance company treats people differently because they have a gene mutation that increases their risk of an inherited disorder, such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation linked to breast cancer. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscriminatory Act (GINA) of 2008 protects people from this kind of discrimination.
Title I of the law bans health insurers from requiring or using genetic information about a person when determining their insurance eligibility or coverage.
Title II makes it illegal for employers to use a person’s genetic information when making decisions about their hiring, promotion, and other terms of employment. Title II claims are reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. An important exception to Title II of GINA involves the U.S. Military, which is permitted to use genetic information to make employment decisions.