Nursing home to pay $370,000 to settle charges it asked for family history information in the hiring process

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A nursing home that now is out of business has agreed to a $370,000 settlement in an employment discrimination suit, which included charges that it asked for genetic information as part of the hiring process, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced.

Founders Pavilion previously provided nursing and rehabilitation services in Corning, NY. The company ceased operating while facing charges that its job offers were contingent on medical exams that asked prospective employees about their family history, according to the EEOC.

Asking for this type of genetic information during the hiring process is illegal under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. This is the first GINA-related settlement to involve charges of a “systemic” violation of the law, noted EEOC General Counsel David Lopez.

Founders Pavilion also faced allegations that it fired employees for perceived disabilities and refused to hire or fired women because they were pregnant.

Under the settlement, Founders will provide $110,440 to be distributed to about 140 people asked for their genetic information, the EEOC announced. Founders will provide an additional $259,600 to the people involved in the other charges.

Should it resume doing business, Founders would face a variety of stipulations under the settlement. The current facility operator of the 120-bed facility, Pavilion Operations, is a non-party signatory to the decree, the EEOC noted. It has agreed to include specific language about genetic information in its antidiscrimination policy and provide related training to employees.

Pavilion Operations had not responded to a call for comment as of press time.

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