The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act went into effect Nov. 20, prohibiting employers and insurers from discriminating based on an employee or applicant’s family medical history or genetic information. Still part of the law is under government consideration, and some experts believe it could change the way employers investigate potential hires.
The government continues to debate how the law should apply to information employees and job applicants post about themselves online — an increasingly popular place for employers to look for information they then use to make hiring decisions.
Say you’re looking up a job applicant online and find his Facebook page, which includes some wild party pictures and information that indicates he is a cancer survivor. You wouldn’t be violating the law if you decided not to hire him because he’s a party animal and posts inappropriate pictures online. But how would you prove that you didn’t decide not to hire him out of fear his cancer would return and cost your health plan a lot of money?
That’s what the government has to decide and the result could be the first privacy protections awarded to information posted online.
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