Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Now in Effect; Extension for Unemployment Still Needed

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which was passed last year, goes into effect this weekend with regard to its ban on employment discrimination. GINA prohibits employers from requesting genetic testing or considering someone’s genetic background in hiring, firing or promotions. The EEOC's new website is a good source of information on the Act.

While Congress did well in enacting GINA, its effort to extend unemployment benefits was apparently poorly executed. Although Congress lengthened the period for extended benefits, it failed to renew the extended benefit program beyond the end of the year. Hopefully Congress will act quickly, because North Carolina's unemployment rate is now 11%, but the Senate has been anything but speedy as of late.