What's more, many don't meet criteria to receive genetic testing through the traditional health insurance system. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone. Initially, the boss seemed empathetic and offered to help. Employers should not use genetic information to discriminate against, limit, segregate, or classify employees in a way that would deprive them of employment opportunities. Since a strong nexus between race or national origin has been established for only a few diseases, Title VII will not be an effective tool for combating most forms of genetic discrimination. The incidental federal protections against workplace discrimination based on genetic information that do exist are narrow in scope and, in large measure, not well established. It has been recognized for some time that employers and others could use genetic information in ways that would cause problems for those whose genetic information they were able to access. It can be deduced from a family's medical history or during a physical examination. More and more people will be vulnerable to genetic discrimination based on unexpressed genetic conditions that do not fall within the clear disability-based discrimination prohibitions of the ADA. In theory, genetic screening for occupationally relevant traits has the potential to be used to assign employees who are genetically susceptible to certain occupational diseases away from harmful exposure. 2198, Rep. Stearns). “With the exception of the people who participate in the program,” said Dokoupil. As employers seek to bring down healthcare costs while attracting and retaining employees in competitive talent markets, leading companies like Visa, SAP, GE Appliances, and Tribune Media are integrating genetics into their preventive health strategy. Fearing adverse consequences at work if this cause of death was known, the individual arranged for the diagnosis of asphyxiation to be reported as the cause of death to avoid mention of the disease in an obituary. Thus, most expert groups recommend prohibiting or severely restricting the use of genetic testing and access to genetic information in the workplace. Scientists have shown that straightforward inherited errors in our genes are responsible for an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 diseases, including Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. For this reason, use of genetic monitoring results to make employment decisions is rarely justifiable. In just the first two months, Color identified over 100 people with genetic mutations that elevate their risk for hereditary cancers. Where effective means of early detection and treatment have been established, knowledge of genetic alterations can help a person prevent or reduce the likelihood of illness, and in some instances actually reduce health care costs. Thus, genetic information includes information about genes, gene products, and inherited characteristics that may derive from individuals or their family members. Recent advances in genetic research have made it possible to identify the genetic basis for human diseases, opening the door to individualized prevention strategies and early detection and treatment. Consequently, genetic tests alone cannot predict with certainty whether a person with a particular genetic error will in fact develop a disease. Genetic predisposition or conditions can lead to workplace discrimination, even in cases where workers are healthy and unlikely to develop disease or where the genetic condition has no effect on the ability to perform work. Your genetic profile can reveal whether you have a disease or a predisposition to problems like cancer. to receive new content, industry news, and more delivered to your inbox! Workers should not be forced to avoid tests that can help prevent disease because of fear of discrimination. The ADA prohibits discrimination against a person who is regarded as having a disability. For example, an 18-year-old man, at risk for inheriting Huntington's disease from one of his parents, who wished to enlist in the Marines to serve in the Persian Gulf War, believed that knowledge of his risk status would disqualify him from service, even though it was unlikely that he would become symptomatic during his tour of duty.