Nursing home faces trailblazing lawsuit over asking workers for family medical histories

Share this article:

A nursing and rehabilitation center violated federal law by asking for workers' family medical history, a government lawsuit alleges. The suit is one of the first of its kind.

Founders Pavilion Inc. allegedly asked for family information as part of mandated medical examinations of workers, according to the complaint filed May 16 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These examinations were done after new workers were offered a job but before they started, and were repeated annually, the EEOC contends.

This marks the second-ever EEOC lawsuit over the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. GINA prohibits employers from demanding genetic information of workers, including family medical histories, and using that information in the hiring process. Founders' business manager declined comment Tuesday and the facility's administrator did not respond to a message left on his voice mail, asking for comment. The facility is a 120-bed non-profit.

The first GINA case, filed earlier this month, involved similar charges against Fabricut, a fabric distributor. Fabricut paid $50,000 in a settlement, and agreed to take steps to prevent future GINA violations.

In announcing the Founders lawsuit, the EEOC did not specify an amount it is seeking. However, the nursing home faces additional charges that it also violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act in its hiring practices — for instance, by refusing to hire or firing women because they were pregnant.

Click here for the full text of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.