Kudos to The Mentalist for showing the very first violation of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) that I’ve seen on TV. If you don’t know about GINA, it’s the law that says employers can’t discrimination based upon genetic information they have about an employee. I think The Mentalist crossed that line in the latest episode.
The writers didn’t mean to violate the law. But they did it all the same. In the latest plotline, Internal Affairs is investigating the department because a very bad guy burst into flames in his jail cell. He needed killing, as any one of the cops would tell you. This episode focused on CBI Agent Rigsby. I won’t rant about the fact that he was meeting with the IA investigator without his union rep since I just did that rant about another show (it’s wrong, wrong, wrong!). Okay, a little rant.
No, this rant is about the fact that the investigator looked into Rigsby’s past and found that his father had quite a colorful criminal past. The investigator then announced that criminal behavior can be genetic and that he was looking into Rigsby as a result of his association with his father. Hello? Can you say lawyers and lawsuits?
Once the investigator decided that Rigsby had a genetic condition, he can’t discriminate against him because of it. That includes putting him under the microscope in an investigation, questioning him about other incidents from years ago, and harassing him.
I adore Simon Baker and will continue watching The Mentalist just for his smile (and the mostly excellent writing) but please stop this ridiculous plot line (and for God’s sake, get Rigsby a union rep) before I throw a shoe at the TV screen.