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EEOC Extends Recordkeeping Requirements to Include Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act – Much Ado About Nothing

Keeping up-to-date record retention policies is a must for any employer.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently passed a final rule mandating that all employers subject to its recordkeeping requirements under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) keep the same recordkeeping requirements with respect to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  The new rule will take effect on April 3 of this year.

GINA was passed in 2008 with the goal of protecting job applicants and employees from discrimination based on their genetic information, including family medical history, with a few limited exceptions.  As with Title VII and the ADA, GINA covers employers with 15 or more employees.  GINA originally became effective on November 21, 2009.   

Fortunately, the new EEOC rule only mandates employers retain documents they already have made or kept, but does not require creation of new documents.  An employer subject to existing EEOC requirements should already retain all  personnel or employment records made or kept by the employer, including application forms and other records having to do with hiring, promotion, demotion, termination, and pay rate.   The information must be preserved for a period of one year from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later.  Further, employers must retain any records relevant to charges filed under Title VII or the ADA until final disposition of those matters, which may be longer than one year.  The new rule requires the same retention of documents relevant to charges filed under GINA.

Given the ever-changing regulatory environment, it is important to stay informed of new changes that affect not only employment decisions you make, but how you document those decisions.  Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.