HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut woman who had a voluntary double mastectomy after genetic testing is alleging her employer eliminated her job once it learned she carried a gene implicated in breast cancer.

Pamela Fink, 39, of Fairfield said in discrimination complaints that her bosses at natural gas and electric supplier MXenergy gave her glowing evaluations for years, but targeted, demoted and eventually dismissed her as the public relations director when she told them of the genetic test results.

Her complaints, filed Tuesday with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, are among the first few known to be filed nationwide based on the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

The law, which went into effect in November, prohibits discrimination by employers and health insurers based on a person’s genetic information. Fink says in her case, that information included results showing she carried the hereditary BRCA2 gene linked to many breast cancers.

“What MXenergy did by firing her because of a positive genetic test is wrong and it’s illegal,” said her attorney, Gary Phelan.

Company spokesman Todd Miller said MXenergy “emphatically and categorically” denies the allegations, but has a policy not to discuss personnel matters and will not comment further.


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