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Genetic Discrimination

Dallas Attorneys Helping Employees Assert Their Workplace Rights

Some people may be predisposed to certain medical conditions like Parkinson’s or heart disease due to their genes. Genetic testing is increasingly common, and many scientific advances have been made in connection with genetic testing. Many people have come to believe that genetics affect intelligence and creativity, as well as other personality traits that may or may not be desirable in our society. Employers are not entitled to discriminate against you because of your genes. If you believe that you may have been a victim of workplace genetic discrimination, you should consult a Dallas genetic discrimination lawyer at Rob Wiley P.C.

Genetic Discrimination

The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prevents employers from using an employee’s genetic information, including information about particular traits or medical conditions, in connection with workplace decisions. The EEOC is tasked with enforcing GINA. Similar protections are available under Texas state law.

“Genetic information” can involve information about your genetic tests. It can also include information about how disorders or diseases have manifested in your family history. In other words, it can include family medical history, since family medical history is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of acquiring a condition, disorder, or disease. Genetic information can include information about your unborn children or your family members’ unborn children.

What Does GINA Guard Against?

Your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of genetic information when it comes to any part of employment, including termination, hiring, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, fringe benefits, training, and other terms and conditions of employment. Employers are not allowed to use genetic information to make job decisions, since genetic information is irrelevant to your ability to work. A genetic discrimination attorney can help Dallas residents bring a claim if an employer violates any of these rules.

Employers are not allowed to segregate you from other employees based on genetic information or to otherwise adversely classify you based on genetic information. GINA prevents the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, and it covers not only employers but also other entities like apprenticeship programs, employment agencies, and labor organizations. Harassment is a form of discrimination, and it is illegal for employers to harass you based on genetic information.

Generally, genetic information should be treated as confidential. If your employer requests your genetic information, for you to take a DNA test, or questions about your family’s medical history you should contact an employment lawyer.

Harassment Under GINA

An employer may be held liable for workplace harassment based on genetic information. The employer can be liable if the harasser is a manager, a coworker, or even somebody who is not employed by the employer, such as a client or customer, depending on how the employer responds to the harassment. Genetic harassment could include making derogatory statements about a job applicant or an employee’s genetic information, whether this is their own genetic information or that of a relative. One-off remarks do not count as actionable harassment. Instead, the harassing conduct or statements must be so pervasive or severe that they generate a hostile work environment. Alternatively, they may be actionable if they result in an adverse employment decision, such as termination.


Your employer cannot terminate you for complaining about genetic discrimination or harassment or for filing a charge. Your employer cannot terminate you, demote you, or take another adverse employment action for complaining of a violation either to HR or to the EEOC or the Texas Civil Rights Commission. We strongly recommend contacting a Dallas genetic discrimination attorney before making a complaint to the EEOC.

Discuss Your Needs with an Experienced Employment Attorney

When you go to work, you trust that your employer will value your work on its merits and that you will not be treated differently because of genetic information. If you have suffered from discrimination on the job in the Dallas area, our genetic discrimination lawyers can assist you. Call us at (214) 528-6500 or complete our online form.

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