Podcast: What Proposed New GINA Rules Mean for HR

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed changes to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that aim to reduce confusion among employers. Under the changes, employers that offer wellness programs will be able to offer limited incentives in exchange for an employee's spouse providing information about his or her health status.

This XpertHR podcast features a conversation with EEOC Assistant Legal Counsel Chris Kuzcynski, who oversaw the drafting of the new proposed regulations and heads the agency's ADA/GINA Policy Division. Kuzcynski notes that currently under GINA, an employer arguably cannot offer any incentive in exchange for an employee's genetic information.

Podcast: What Proposed New GINA Rules Mean for HR

December 8, 2015

Kuzcynski explains, "Because incentives are allowed under the Affordable Care Act, employers started to ask a lot of questions about whether the ADA and GINA, both of which limit the kind of information employers can get, would also permit employers to offer wellness program incentives." Thus, the EEOC concluded that clarification was needed. But while employers will be able to offer these incentives for a spouse's health status under the changes, Kuzcynski says they still may not do so for children.

The comment period on these proposed GINA changes lasts through the end of December. Kuzcynski encourages HR professionals, small businesses and anyone in the benefits field to monitor the EEOC's website for when the final rules are issued to become fully aware of their obligations.