By: Robert J. Orelup
Federal law already requires covered employers, including those in the construction industry, to post a notice informing employees of their rights under various federal anti-discrimination laws. On October 26, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has updated its workplace posting to reflect the new Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) as well as changes made by the American with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008, among a few others.
While all employers may be familiar (at least to some extent) with the ADA, fewer are aware of GINA and its implications. GINA restricts an employer’s acquisition and disclosure of genetic information and also prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and/or employees based on the individual’s genetic information when it comes to health insurance or employment. GINA’s ban on employment discrimination takes effect on November 21, 2009, and will apply to all private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees.
To comply with these new federal posting requirements, employers should either (1) post the new “EEOC is the Law” supplement alongside EEOC’s September 2002 “EEOC is the Law” poster or the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (“OFCCP”) August 2008 “EEOC is the Law” poster; or (2) replace the old poster(s) with the new November 2009 “EEOC is the Law” poster. Both the new supplement and poster can be found and downloaded free of charge at http://www.eeoc.gov/posterform.html.
All covered employers should also consider updating their employee handbooks and policies to reflect these changes regarding GINA and other federal anti-discrimination laws.