Call Our Free Helpline NOW 949-379-6250

Employment Law News

A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO SWABBING THE POOP DECK–GENETIC NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT VIOLATION

Posted by Kashif Haque | Jun 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

 ON 

Discrimination word cluster 700x400 20%281%29

Georgia storage company, Atlas Logistics Group asked employees to swab—then got sued. An employee (or possibly employees) for the company began “habitually defecating” in their Atlanta warehouse. Atlas attempted to figure out who it was, but eventually got slapped with a hefty price tag for their methods.

Atlas had some employees undergo a cheek swap so that they could compare DNA samples to that found in the excrement. The samples were sent to a laboratory where technicians worked to locate the employee in question. What the company neglected to realize, however, was that gathering an employee's DNA for analysis violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or more fondly known as “GINA.”

Two employees, Jack Lowe and Dennis Reynolds, took offense to their DNA samples being tested. Though they did not match the DNA of the fecal matter around the warehouse, Lowe and Reynolds filed suit against the employers for requesting their genetic information. The company contested the facts of Lowe and Reynolds' allegations; they argued that “genetic information” is defined as “information related to an individual's propensity for disease.”

The court sided with the plaintiffs stating that requesting the swabs was, in fact, requesting genetic information that is protected by federal law. At trial, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $2.25 million. $1.75 million of that total was for punitive damages.

Source: Jack Lowe and Dennis Reynolds v. Atlas Logistics Group; ohioemployerlawblog.com

About the Author

Kashif Haque

Kashif Haque is a trial attorney and one of the founding attorneys of Aegis Law Firm. He served as the 2015 Chairman of the Orange County Bar Association—Labor and Employment Section. Mr. Haque has obtained millions of dollars on behalf of his clients through trial, arbitration and settlement. A...

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

The Quickest and Easiest Way to Hold Your Employer Accountable

At the Aegis Law Firm, we know that you may be going through a difficult time, and we are here to help you recover from the wrongs that you suffered. An attorney at our Orange County or Los Angeles law firm can speak with you for a free initial consultation to help you with your employment issues. We also take most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay any fees unless you win or recover compensation.

949-379-6250

Menu