Pre-Employment Medical Exams: A New, Scary Kind Of Discrimination

illustration of a man looking with fright at hypodermic
illustration of a man looking with fright at hypodermic

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act got lots of media attention when it first took effect in 2009, and then we didn't hear much about it. Until now, that is. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced that it filed and settled its first lawsuit under GINA, and that it filed its first GINA class-action suit. In both cases, employers conducted pre-employment medical exams that the EEOC said were illegal.

While the exams themselves may not have been illegal, the employers went wrong when they required the job applicants to fill out detailed family medical histories for these exams.

When are pre-employment medical exams illegal? Here are some ways that your potential employer's examination may violate your workplace rights: