Lawsuit Against Ascension Health for Genetic Privacy Violation

Ascension Health Sued for Illegally Requesting Genetic Information in Illinois

Imagine applying for your dream job and being asked to disclose sensitive genetic information about your family medical history. This is what happened to Rebecca Chaplin, who has filed a class action lawsuit against Ascension Health, Illinois' largest healthcare system. In this article, we will explain the situation in simple terms, help you understand how this violates GIPA, and tell you what it means for consumers.

What Happened?

1. Rebecca Chaplin, an Illinois resident, filed a lawsuit against Ascension Health (Ascension Saint Mary) claiming that they violated the Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA).

2. Chaplin, the representative of the class action lawsuit, believes she was asked to provide genetic information during a pre-employment physical, which may have affected her job eligibility.

3. The lawsuit covers all individuals in Illinois who applied for jobs with Ascension Health from February 2023.

What is Genetic Information?

GIPA defines "genetic information" as family medical history, any manifestations of diseases or disorders in family members, or anything that increases an individual's risk of health issues.

How Did Ascension Health Violate GIPA?

The lawsuit alleges that Ascension Health requested genetic information without informed consent for hiring purposes, which is a direct violation of GIPA. The law prohibits employers from directly or indirectly requesting genetic information in employment settings without consent.

What Does the Lawsuit Seek?

The lawsuit asks the court to order Ascension Health to stop violating GIPA, award actual and statutory damages to the plaintiff and the proposed class, and address their alleged failure to comply with GIPA and other requirements.

What Does This Mean for Consumers?

This case highlights the importance of genetic information confidentiality and the need for employers to follow privacy regulations. If Ascension Health is found to have violated GIPA, this could impact their reputation and hiring practices, ensuring that future applicants in Illinois are not subjected to similar invasions of privacy.

How Can You Get Involved?

If you are an Illinois resident who has applied for a job with Ascension Health from February 2023 and felt that you were asked to disclose genetic information without your consent, you may be affected by this lawsuit. Consider seeking legal advice to determine if you can join the class action.

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In Conclusion

Ascension Health is accused of violating GIPA by actively soliciting genetic information during hiring decisions, which is illegal. Rebecca Chaplin, as the representative of the class action, alleges that Ascension Health requested this information in contradiction to GIPA.

By bringing awareness to this issue and encouraging affected individuals to seek legal remedies, we can ensure that all parties respect privacy laws and protect our genetic information from misuse.

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