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Wellness programs and compliance with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • GINA rules and exceptions apply to company wellness programs depending on criteria.

Title II of GINA bars employers with 15 employees or more from taking discriminatory employment action based on genetic information. It also largely restricts employers from acquiring and disclosing employees' genetic information.

However, there are some exceptions. Employers may acquire genetic information as part of a wellness program that meets certain strict rules, but may not offer any incentives in exchange for genetic information.

Employees must voluntarily provide prior written authorization for employers to collect their genetic information. The form employers use for such an authorization must be easy for the employee to understand, describe what will be obtained and how it will be used, and be confidential.