How long must an employer retain records in order to comply with GINA?


You want to make sure your company is in compliance with the recordkeeping requirements of Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). How long is your company required to keep GINA-related personnel and employment records?


Effective April 3, 2012, employers and other entities covered by Title II of GINA must meet the same recordkeeping requirements that govern records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

EEOC regulations at 29 CFR Part 1602 provide that private employers covered by Title VII, the ADA, and — as of April 3, 2012 — GINA are required to retain personnel and employment records for one year from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever is later. However, where an employee is terminated involuntarily, the terminated employee’s personnel or employment records must be kept for one year from the date of termination. The retention period is extended to two years for educational institutions and state and local governments.

When a charge or action is pending. However, when a charge of discrimination has been filed under Title VII, the ADA, or GINA, or where a civil action has been brought by the EEOC or the attorney general, the employer must retain all records related to the charge or action until final disposition of the charge or action — either the date the statutory limitation period expires or the date on which any litigation brought is terminated.

Confidentiality. Employers also should be aware that genetic information about an employee must be treated as a confidential medical record and maintained on forms and in medical files (including where the information exists in electronic forms and files) that are separate from personnel files. An employee’s genetic information may be kept in the same file in which the employer maintains confidential medical information subject to the ADA.

Source: Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Under Title VII, the ADA, and GINA, 29 CFR Part 1602, 77 FR 5396, February 3, 2012,; Summary of Selected Recordkeeping Obligations in 29 CFR Part 1602,; and GINA regulations at 29 CFR Part 1635.9,

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