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Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passes

H.R. 493, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, has passed the House in the form approved last week by the Senate. The vote was 414-1 (roll call vote available here). The bill outlaws insurance companies or employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information.

Other interesting provisions are included:

(Sec. 302) Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the maximum employer penalty for violations involving oppressive child labor provisions or certain child labor safety requirements. Establishes an additional civil penalty for any such violation that causes the death or serious injury of an employee under the age of 18, which may be doubled for a repeated or willful violation.

Defines "serious injury" as: (1) permanent loss or substantial impairment of one of the senses or of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or (2) permanent paralysis or substantial impairment that causes loss of movement or mobility of a body part.

Increases the maximum civil penalty for any repeated or willful violation of minimum wage or maximum hours requirements.

The President will certainly sign the legislation, which CQ Politics calls "a landmark ban." Also CQ:

Liability concerns of employers and the White House held up the bill until the Senate this month made changes to strengthen a "firewall" between the employer and insurer provisions of the legislation, so that businesses couldn't be hit with penalties under both sections.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.