2 Running Header: G.I.N.A.: A long waited for decision The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: A long waited for decision In 2008 President Bush sign the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act , this new law prevented employers and insurance companies from using genetic information during the decision making process. What this meant for employers that they would not be able to discriminate against prospective or current employees who posed certain genetic traits for specific types of disease or illness. Nor, would insurance companies be able to use this information to determine premiums for individuals either. Neither party would be allowed to request, require o purchase this type of information (The New England Journal of Medicine, Kathy L. Hudson, PhD, Holohan, J.D., & Francis M. Collins, M.D., PhD, 2008). Violations would be punished with corrective actions and/or monetary penalties.
Jim Sanders is a small business owner; he owns a bakery in the corner of town. The bakery currently has ten employees. Jim is interested in hiring one more employee, a web content editor, who can help launch the bakery’s transition to an online medium. Two candidates apply for the position and both are highly qualified with similar work experience and skills. Even after Jim has interviewed both candidates, he isn’t sure which one he will hire. However, he learns soon after, through a Facebook post, that Candidate #1 has a genetic risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). The candidate is healthy as of now, but it is possible that the disease will manifest in the future. Jim and his wife Sandra have three children who are in high school and will be attending college soon. Jim knows that he will not be able to afford his children’s education AND the potential increase in insurance premiums and/or increased sick days, should Candidate #1 develop the disease. Jim decides that he is not willing to take the chance, and he ends up hiring Candidate #2, who is not genetically predisposed to any disease. Because his business is small with only 10 employees, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act does not apply to him, and he is not breaking any laws.