GENE TESTING IN THE WORKPLACE?
Given the tremendous increase in technology and the compelling need to cut costs, many businesses have
discovered a new twist in combining these two issues. Namely, they have seen that bio?technology can provide
means to identify employees with medical traits that makes them a greater risk. By hiring people with a “biological
risk”, the employer may experience a greater “cost burden” in medical insurance, absenteeism, and retirement
benefits. So, to curtail potential increased risks, businesses may attemp??????t to predict future costs by
researching an employment candidate’s genetic history. While this seems like a prudent expense reducing act,
imagine being turned away from a job because your father had Alzheimers or you have a gene that may give you
a greater risk of diabetes later on in life.
Visit the following website and form your own opinion on genetic testing as it relates to employment discrimination.
In addition to your own thoughts/opinions, you should address the following points:
Should there be an absolute ban on genetic testing for employment purposes?
Should some employers (e.g. airlines, law enforcement, entertainment, etc.) be allowed certain exceptions?
Should the government “step in” and regulate both employers and the medical community to restrict genetic
Should employers be able to ask employment candidates for a privacy waiver in order to conduct genetic
Is it reasonable for insurance providers and employers to fully research employment candidates to discover
Please visit the American Civil Liberties Union at www.aclu.org to find some details (albeit somewhat slanted
towards the ACLU mindset) about genetics and the workplace. You should also form your opinion of whether you
agree with the ACLU in whole or in part or whether you believe genetic testing should be unregulated at this point
in time. An additional (optional) website to visit is the National Council on Disability at www.ncd.gov where you can
find an in?depth discussion.
A thoughtful “A” paper will consider both sides of the issue (e.g. from an employee and employer viewpoint)