New bill aims to allow employers to force workers to take genetic test
A new bill introduced by Republican legislators would allow companies to force their employees to take a genetic test and share the results or pay a hefty penalty.
The HR 1313, which is formally called the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, has already been approved by the House Committee on Education & the Workforce. All 22 Republicans supported the bill, while all of the 17 Democrats opposed it.
Employers would be able to charge their employees as much as 50 per cent more for providing health insurance in case they decline to participate in voluntary programs.
American Society of Human Genetics’ Derek Scholes said, “Employers would be able to coerce employees into providing their genetic and health information and that of their families, even their children.”
At present, allowing employers to access the genetic testing of their working is prohibited by the federal government’s Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which was passed in 2008.
Some experts say that the HR 1313 could be included in a larger measure related to the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would require approval outside of the Republicans’ repeal and replace plan.