Genetic Testing in the Workplace: The Employer’s Coin Toss

By: Samantha French

A toss of the coin by the modern-day employer reveals two options regarding genetic testing in the workplace. The employer may choose to take advantage of increasingly precise, available, and affordable genetic testing in order to ascertain the genetic characteristics – and deficiencies – of its employees. This outcome exposes the employer to a vast array of potential litigation and liability relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fourth Amendment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and state legislation designed to protect genetic privacy.  Alternatively, the employer may neglect to indulge in this trend of genetic testing and may face liability for employer negligence, violations of federal legislation such as OSHA regulations, and increased costs associated with insuring the health of genetically endangered employees. In the rapidly developing universe of genetic intelligence, the employer is faced with a staggering dilemma.

Cite: 2002 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0015

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