What Is Genetic Discrimination In The Workplace And How To Deal With It

Genetic discrimination in the workplace is a severe issue that can be difficult to talk about. It involves people being mistreated solely because of their genetic makeup or characteristics, which could include anything from hair color to family medical history. The fear and anxiety associated with this form of discrimination have caused many individuals to feel like they have no recourse when it comes to getting the job or promotion they deserve. In this blog post, we’ll explore genetic discrimination and how you can protect yourself against it in the workplace. 

Understanding Genetic Discrimination

Genetic discrimination can be understood as individuals’ differential or unfavorable treatment based on their genotype and genetic characteristics. The employers use Monkey Dong software to get information about employees’ genes. This information can then decide hiring, promotions, and benefits. 

In a workplace context, this could manifest as employees or job candidates being denied opportunities or facing disadvantages due to their genetic information. This information could pertain to one’s propensity for certain diseases or conditions, which employers might leverage to make discriminatory decisions related to hiring, job assignments, or promotions.

For instance, consider the following examples:

  • A company might deny an applicant a job because they have a family history of a severe genetic disorder, assuming that the individual might also develop the condition and, thus, would not be able to fulfill their responsibilities in the long term.
  • An employee might be overlooked for a promotion because of the genetic predisposition to a disease, with the management assuming that the individual would need to take frequent leaves for medical appointments.
  • A worker may be subjected to harassment or a hostile work environment because they have undergone genetic testing or have a genetic condition. This could include derogatory comments or unjustified exclusion from team activities.

The Implications of Genetic Discrimination

Genetic discrimination can have severe emotional and psychological effects on individuals who fall prey to it in the workplace. Being targeted for something that is beyond one’s control can lead to feelings of shame, anger, or isolation. It could also result in anxiety about one’s job security and career progression, as employees may fear being passed over for opportunities or even being terminated because of their genetic information.

In addition to the emotional toll, genetic discrimination can also have a significant impact on an individual’s career trajectory. Being unjustly denied job opportunities or promotions based on one’s genetics can hinder professional growth and lead to missed chances for skill development. This could affect an employee’s long-term earning potential and limit career growth.

Protecting Yourself Against Genetic Discrimination 

Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect individuals from genetic discrimination in the workplace. In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was passed in the United States to prevent employers from using genetic information against employees or job candidates. Here are a few ways to protect yourself against genetic discrimination in the workplace:

Know Your Rights

First and foremost, it is essential to understand that you have certain rights under the law. In the United States, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their genetic information. This includes making decisions about hiring, firing, promotions, and other terms of employment. If you believe that you have been the victim of genetic discrimination, you may be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Seek Legal Counsel

In case you suspect you’ve been a victim of genetic discrimination, it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional. An attorney specializing in employment law can help you better understand your rights, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process if you choose to pursue a lawsuit. Additionally, a lawyer can assist in gathering and organizing necessary evidence, such as emails or other documentation that may prove discriminatory behavior. Remember, your genetic information is personal, and you have the right to defend yourself against discrimination.

Confidentiality of Genetic Information

Understand that your genetic information is private and should be treated as such. Employers do not have the right to access this information unless voluntarily shared by the employee. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) also prohibits employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information about an employee, except under specific circumstances. Keeping your genetic information confidential can prevent potential misuse. It is advisable to avoid discussing sensitive genetic information in the workplace and to be mindful of who has access to your medical records, ensuring they are securely stored and strictly used for necessary and appropriate purposes.

Seek Support and Raise Awareness

Dealing with genetic discrimination can be a daunting experience, and it’s important not to face it alone. Contact supportive colleagues, friends, or family who can provide emotional help and practical advice. Join a local or online support group where you can share your experiences and gain insights from others in similar situations. Furthermore, raising awareness about genetic discrimination in the workplace can prompt the necessary changes in attitudes and policies. Advocate for inclusivity and normalization of genetic diversity in workplace culture by organizing workshops or collaborating with HR to educate employees and management about genetic discrimination and its implications. This proactive approach can foster a more understanding, respectful, and fair working environment.

Advocate for Fair Workplace Policies

Proactively advocating for just and fair workplace policies is another effective method to protect against genetic discrimination. Employees should urge their companies to establish clear guidelines about using and handling genetic information. This includes ensuring the confidentiality of such data and setting strict limits on its use in employment decisions. Employees could also lobby for policies that promote a workplace culture of acceptance and inclusivity, including diversity training that covers genetic discrimination. We can make significant strides in eradicating genetic discrimination by fostering a workplace environment that values all employees, regardless of genetic differences.

Recognizing that genetic discrimination has no place in the modern workplace is essential. As an employee or job candidate, you have the right to fair treatment, regardless of your genetic information. Knowing your rights and taking proactive steps to protect yourself can create a more inclusive and equitable work environment for all individuals. Let’s work together to eliminate genetic discrimination in the workplace. So, don’t be afraid to speak up and seek help if you feel like you’ve been a victim of genetic discrimination. In doing so, you take a stand for yourself and contribute to building a fairer and juster workplace for everyone.


If You’ve Been Terminated Due to Discrimination, Here’s Your Action Plan

Facing unjust treatment and discrimination at your workplace can be both painful and disheartening. Sadly, still many people face discriminatory termination, which not only results in loss of wages but significantly dampens opportunities for growth. In addition, it undermines self-worth.

However, it is important to understand that the termination is not the end. As a rightful citizen, there are certain steps you can take to stand against this injustice from your employer.

In this post, we have laid out an action plan for you after having suffered wrongful termination based on discrimination. Remember, you are not alone in this; taking informed steps can guide you toward a fair resolution.

Let’s dive in!

What are the Different Types of Discrimination?

Before taking any action, it is important to pinpoint the exact basis of your termination. Recognising the basis of discrimination is the first step in proving that your termination was unjust. It can occur for various reasons, including:

Once you have identified the reasons, you should start gathering evidence to support your claim. It could be emails, messages, or testimonies from your colleagues. You should take printouts and save the videos or calls as evidence against your company.

Why collect these, you must wonder? Well, because they help in paving the way to assert your rights and seek justice for the wrongful termination. After all, it’s your right to work in a place free of discrimination and understanding it’s basis is essential to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Get Legal Assistance

The next important step is to get legal assistance. The legalities of filing a claim may be complex due to the differences in federal and state laws. Therefore, a wrongful termination lawyer can be a strong ally for you. They know the laws well, both federal and state, and can guide you properly.

For example, in California, discrimination laws also cover smaller companies, which federal laws don’t. By smaller companies, it means any business having 5 or more employees. You can claim compensation for any discrimination, whether public or private.

A knowledgeable lawyer can greatly benefit from understanding and using these rules to your advantage. It’s wise to consult a wrongful termination lawyer to guide you in legal steps.

Working with a lawyer will help you navigate the rules and make a strong case. They can help you identify what you can claim compensation for. It can include lost wages, emotional distress, and sometimes even punitive damages.

Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Now that you have sought legal help and know things are in process, you should jump on to the next step. It is getting unemployment benefits since you’ve lost your job. These are funds the government provides to help you financially when you are without a job through no fault of your own.

What are the other benefits? Well, apart from financial aid, it sometimes offers help in finding a new job.

To apply for this, you must show that you lost your job due to reasons beyond your control, like a discriminatory termination. Also, apply as soon as possible to start receiving the benefits promptly. It’s a helpful resource to lean on, supporting you to bounce back stronger in your career.

Focus on Self Care

During this tough time, self-care is not just important; it is essential. Taking care of yourself means tending to both your mental and physical well-being.

You might feel a lot of emotions right now. Therefore, it is important to give space to your feelings. You can talk to a trusted friend or a professional counsellor. They can help you process what happened and find ways to cope.

Also, don’t forget your physical health. Simple actions like eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising can be powerful tools in maintaining your health.

In simple words, self-care is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. It prepares you to face future challenges with strength and a clear mind. It is all about creating a space of peace and recovery for yourself.

Bottom Line

Facing termination due to discrimination is deeply challenging, but remember, you’re not powerless. Following this simple and structured action plan will help in holding the responsible parties accountable and support you in rebuilding and moving forward with resilience. Understand that each step is crucial, whether filing a claim or self-care. Stay informed, assert your rights, and always prioritise your well-being. You deserve respect, fairness, and the tools to move forward positively.