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Connecticut Woman Files First Suit Under Federal Law Prohibiting Genetic Discrimination

Written by Jennifer Rubin

A Connecticut woman has filed a charge of discrimination under the Federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA"), which prohibits discrimination against employees based upon their status as carriers of genetic information. The woman claims her status as a carrier of the BRCA2 gene, a gene sometimes associated with the elevated risk of breast cancer, led to her termination after she had preventive surgery relating to her breast cancer risk.

GINA was passed to address concerns of individuals who might be reluctant to undergo genetic testing because the results, if disclosed to an employer, might be used in a discriminatory manner by employers. While it is premature to predict the probability of outcomes of this employment dispute, it reminds employers of their obligations to comply with GINA and other numerous other Federal and state laws concerning the management and use of health information in the workplace.

Related Links:

Hartford Courant
Woman claims genetic test led to firing at Stamford firm - StamfordAdvocate
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Cynthia J. Larose

Member / Co-Chair, Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice

Cynthia J. Larose is Chair of the firm's Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice, a Certified Information Privacy Professional-US (CIPP-US), and a Certified Information Privacy Professional-Europe (CIPP-E). She works with clients in various industries to develop comprehensive information security programs on the front end, and provides timely counsel when it becomes necessary to respond to a data breach.