Can Your Boss Make You Take a Genetic Test?

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Can Your Boss Make You Take a Genetic Test?
HR 1313, known as the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, would overturn current regulations that limit access to this sensitive information.
But GINA, already in existence when the ACA was passed, is pretty clear in its protections of genetic data –
and the ACA didn’t include any language to the contrary.
The $8 billion industry behind wellness programs has a lot to gain by pushing
more insurance costs onto employees who refuse to share their genetic data.
A coalition of 70 organizations, including the AARP, the March of Dimes and Susan G. Komen, wrote Foxx a letter asserting
that a refusal to share genetic tests – whether for themselves or their dependents – could lead to additional costs equal to several thousand dollars a year.
Back when the Obama administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
in 2010, the sweeping law actually granted companies wider latitude when rolling out wellness programs.
However, critics say that the bill, currently supported by a number of Republicans
in Congress, would trample on the privacy rights of those workers in the process
Critics of the bill say that there’s really no choice when it comes to taking part in wellness programs.
But a pair of earlier laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act from 1990
and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), prevented employers from even requesting that their staff submit to genetic tests.


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