On November 10, the EEOC announced a settlement involving alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  One of the individuals in the EEOC's class complaint applied for the position of dispatcher with the employer.  The employer required the applicant to undergo a physical examination which was unrelated to that position.  The examination inquired about past health issues and discovered that the applicant had suffered a heart attack.  In addition, through medical records the applicant was forced to produce as a part of the health questionnaire, the employer discovered that the applicant's grandmother, parents and several of his aunts also had heart problems.  The employer withdrew the conditional job offer it had made to the applicant because it regarded him as disabled, according to the EEOC.  As a result of the settlement agreement, $140,000 in monetary relief will be paid to the applicant and three other class members.  Approximately $50,000 will be used to establish a class fund which might apply to other applicants who were not hired.  Any portion of the class fund not distributed after one year will be donated to a nonprofit agency serving the disabled community and/or educating the public about disability rights.  In reviewing and revising their employment policies, the joint employers must include a clear explanation of the conduct prohibited by the ADA and GINA, including unlawful inquiries and a clear explanation of company policies and employee rights concerning the duty to maintain the confidentiality of medical information which will include family medical history.  Managers and supervisors must undergo ADA and GINA training within 90 days and every two years thereafter.  This settlement comes after the EEOC has settled other charges throughout the country concerning ADA and GINA allegations.  The EEOC has also announced that it intends to issue proposed rules on how employer wellness plan incentives should be treated under GINA and the ADA.  This is a developing area of law and prudent employers should review their employee hiring process now, including the type of medical examinations required after issuing a conditional job offer.  The new EEOC regulations could be issued by the end of calendar year 2014.  Stay tuned.                        By Bill Harding, Chapter Attorney