California Expands Law Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Genetic Information

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act and Unruh Civil Rights act were recently expanded by California Senate Bill 559 to prohibit discrimination based on genetic information. The FEHA and Unruh Civil Rights Act now also prohibit employers from seeking information regarding: 1. An individual’s genetic tests; 2. Genetic tests of the individual’s family members; and 3. Whether any of the individual’s family members have a particular disease or disorder. The existing law already barred employers from genetic testing of applicants and employees and from discrimination based on genetic characteristics as a subset of a medical condition.