Two men are now $1 million richer after their employer violated their right to genetic privacy by swabbing their butts for DNA.
The story begins when, not long ago, one of the Atlanta, Georgia warehouses of Atlas Logistics Group had a poo problem — that is, one mystery employee kept pooing around the warehouse and leaving the nasty surprise for managers to find.
In order to find the culprit, the managers came up with a plan to swab for DNA from a couple employees. Ultimately, they forced two employees, Dennis Reynolds and Jack Lowe, to consent to a “butt swab” to determine if the DNA from the fecal presents came from either of them.
Reynolds and Lowe were not amused. After the DNA swab test found that neither of them were the warehouse defecators, they took the company to court.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg sided with the two men in what she called “the case of the devious defecators” because Atlas Logistics unlawfully obtained their DNA in direct violation of GINA, or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. GINA makes it “an unlawful employment practice for an employer to request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to an employee.”
For their suffering, the men were awarded $2.25 million; the jury awarded Reynolds $225,000 and Lowe $250,000 in compensatory damages plus $1,750,000 in punitive damages so that Atlas Logisitics hopefully remembers that they can not, in fact, swab their employees’ butts.
When it comes to genetic information, even if it comes from your butt, no one has the right to take that away from you.
As of this writing, the serial warehouse shitter is still at large.