California Governor Signs Law to Protect Against Genetic Discrimination

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law civil rights protections to prevent discrimination against people based on their genetic information.

Authored by State Sen. Alex Padilla, the California law the use of genetic information to discriminate against a person in housing, employment, education, health insurance, life insurance, mortgage lending and elections. It takes effect January 1, 2012..

“This new law enhances the civil rights of every Californian,” Senator Padilla said in a press release Wednesday. “Ten years from now as more and more Californians obtain their genetic information they will look back and thank Governor Brown for protecting them from discrimination.”

The new law extends California’s long standing civil rights protections and the federal protections against genetic discrimination passed by Congress in 2008. That law, the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), limits protections to  to employment and health insurance coverage.  SB 559 would ensure that the range of protections for Californians applies to all California civil rights laws and would include genetic information as a prohibited basis for discrimination.

See also: California Law Would Extend Genetic Non-Discrimination Protections