NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced this week that BNV Home Care Agency
Inc., a provider of companionship and home care services for seniors throughout
New York City, will pay $125,000 after allegations of genetic discrimination.
The company allegedly collected employees’
and applicants’ genetic information via an
employee health assessment form that asked about family medical history.
Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Genetic Information
Non-Discrimination Act (GINA).
"Forcing employees and applicants to provide genetic
information in order to maintain or obtain their jobs is clearly against
federal law, and EEOC will continue to combat this form of
discrimination," EEOC acting New York District director Judy Keenan said.
BNV’s monetary settlement will be
used to pay a class of current BNV employees victimized by the company’s
alleged business practices. The settlement also requires BNV to remove genetic
information questions from its employee health assessment forms.
"Employers should take heed of this settlement, because
there are tangible consequences to unlawfully asking employees and applicants
about their family medical history, which has been prohibited since the
enactment of GINA in 2008,” EEOC New York District
Office regional attorney Jeffrey Burstein said.