Fairfield Woman Claims Gene Discrimination After Breast-Cancer Test

Matthew Sturdevant reports:

In a case that raises concerns about the handling of genetic and medical information, a Fairfield woman has filed a discrimination complaint after she had a voluntary double-mastectomy, then lost her job.

Pamela K. Fink had the surgery last October after genetic tests suggested that she was at risk for breast cancer. On Tuesday, she filed complaints with state and federal agencies against Stamford-based MXenergy, the natural gas and electricity provider that eliminated her job March 25.

Fink, 39, who was public relations director for MXenergy, says she was fired because she is a carrier of the BRCA2 gene — a so-called breast- cancer gene. The company fired her “because it regarded me to be an ‘individual with a disability,'” Fink said in a complaint to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

The complaint, also filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is believed to be the first genetic discrimination case in the state — and one of the first in the nation — since the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act took effect in November.

Read more in the Hartford Courant.

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