President Signs Landmark Genetic Non-Discrimination Law - 05-27-2008

President Signs Landmark Genetic Non-Discrimination Law - 05-27-2008
After 13 years of political wrangling, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act became law on May 21, 2008, when President Bush signed the legislation. The new law prohibits employers and health insurance companies from discriminating against or refusing coverage to individuals based on the results of genetic testing.

The employment provisions of the law will take effect in November 2009, 18 months after the president signed the bill. These provisions will be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which must now develop a new set of regulations to enforce the new employment protections.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Employment Coalition, has long supported protections for employees from genetic discrimination. The coalition worked closely with members of the House and Senate to ensure that the final measure was fair to both employers and employees.

The final legislation passed both houses of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Senate voted unanimously to approve the bill on April 24, 2008, and the House's approval followed a week later on May 1, 2008, with a vote of 414-1.

Source: SHRM Online

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