Genetic Testing

Overview

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law prohibits employers, employment agencies, labor unions, licensing agencies and other persons from discriminating against employees, job applicants, or licensing applicants based on genetic testing.

The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is 300 days from the date the action was taken or the individual was made aware the action was taken.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing means a test of a person's genes, gene products or chromosomes, for abnormalities or deficiencies, including carrier status, that are linked to physical or mental disorders or impairments, or that indicate a susceptibility to illness, disease, impairment or other disorders, whether physical or mental, or that demonstrate genetic or chromosomal damage due to environmental factors.

What actions are covered?

When the fact that an individual has obtained a genetic test or the results of a genetic test motivates the decision related to an employment action or licensing action, it becomes unlawful discrimination.

Specifically, the law prohibits discrimination in:

Recruitment and hiring, job assignments, pay, leave or benefits, promotion, licensing or union membership, training, layoff and firing, harassment and other employment related actions.

Additionally, employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and licensing agencies cannot require an individual to submit to a genetic test as a condition of employment, union membership or licensure.

Resources

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