Republican bill could force workers to involuntarily disclose sensitive DNA data to employers


It’s hard to imagine a more sensitive type of personal information than your own genetic blueprints…[T]he four-base code can reveal bits of your family’s past, explain some of your current traits and health, and may provide a glimpse into your future with possible conditions and health problems you could face.

Most people would likely want to keep the results of genetic tests highly guarded…But, as STAT reports, a new bill that is quietly moving through the House would allow companies to strong-arm their employees into taking genetic tests [as part of the company’s wellness program] and then sharing that data with unregulated third parties as well as the employer. Employees that resist could face penalties of thousands of dollars.

[R]esearch has shown that [company wellness programs] have little effect on employee health and may actually end up costing companies. Still, they may survive as a way to push healthcare costs onto employees.

Moreover, employers tend to hire third parties to collect and manage health data. These companies are not heavily regulated and can review genetic and other health data with identifiers. Some of the companies even sell health information to advertisers, STAT notes.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: New bill would let companies force workers to get genetic tests, share results