Genetic Information

The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 protects an individual from being treated unfairly because of differences in his or her DNA that may affect the individual’s health.  GINA specifically prohibits the use of an individual’s genetic information -- including family medical history -- when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions.  It also prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future.

The University of Georgia’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy (“NDAH Policy”) likewise prohibits discriminatory decision-making; different, adverse treatment compared to other similarly-situated individuals; or harassment when any of the foregoing conduct is based on genetic information. 


Harassment is defined by the NDAH Policy as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on genetic information when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to:

  1. Unreasonably interfere with the individual’s work or educational performance;
  2. Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or
  3. Unreasonably interfere with or limits one’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity.

If you have knowledge of or believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment based on genetic information, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at (706) 542-7912 or

UGA faculty, instructors, administrators, supervisors and all other employees (including student employees) who are in positions of authority must report to the Equal Opportunity Office any complaints they receive or knowledge they possess (whether direct or indirect) of discrimination or harassment based on genetic information.  Failure to make a report is a separate violation of the NDAH Policy.

Types of Discrimination