Would you give your genetic test results to your employer?


Since the year 2008, many Americans across the country haven’t had to worry about giving their genetic information to their employers. American workers have been protected from being asked to give this type of information.

Imagine if your employer said that the genetic testing is completely voluntary and will be part of “workplace wellness.” It sounds as if they are not invading your privacy. All of a sudden this can change because if you don’t take part of this initiative of genetic testing, there can be serious consequences which will result in you paying thousands of dollars each year in higher health insurance premiums.  In other words, how would this program not put pressure on many workers in the U.S.?

In this type of scenario, it would effect the government, employers, and impact the privacy of the individual worker. Well this type of event is soon to come because of the a House Bill that was proposed by Republicans which would allow companies to withhold economic benefits if their employees don’t give in their genetic test results (for the workplace wellness program).

Not being part of this healthcare program can cause discrimination in the workplace, such as the fiction film Gattaca. For example a job candidate wouldn’t get the job, because he had given his genetic test results which evidently showed that, “he carried a single genetic mutation for Gaucher’s disease, which meant only that he could pass the mutation on to a son,” as stated the Department of Labor.

On the other hand, some have different opinions on this controversial topic. Some say that this program can be beneficial for companies, because they can save money since it will reduce health insurance cost and can also bring about “healthy lifestyle choices,” said Rep. Virginia Fox (R). However, there can be a negative effect, because this new policy program can cause discrimination in employments.

Now this policy is in the hands of the politicians, who will decide if it’s a good policy to implement. Racism is already a factor that plays a role when hiring a person, soon your genetics can hurt you too!