Employment

Initial fears suggested that employers who had access to genetic information would refuse to hire persons with inherited characteristics that suggested greater use of health resources by either the employee or family members. Employers would try to control expenses on healthcare and perhaps absenteeism by pricing premiums in accordance with health status of the employee. Recent legislation in the United States prohibits employers from charging employees of higher risk a higher premium (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of1996 (HIPAAJ). Cases of genetic discrimination primarily involve an employer's attempt to require genetic testing or access to the results of genetic tests already included as medical records as a prerequisite or condition of employment. While state and federal statutes regulate the employer's use of results from genetic testing, other statutes that impose upon the employer a duty to ensure worker safety partially restore access to such medical information (Rothstein).

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