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.