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New House Bill Seeks to Allow Employers to Require Genetic Testing of Employees Through Loophole

Our genetic structure can tell a lot about the type of people we are, the possible risks of contracting certain genetic diseases, and any predisposition that we may or may not have to certain ailments. Though this is the type of information that is critical to understanding and assessing our health risks and whether we should alter our health behaviors to lower risks for diseases to which we may be predisposed, the negative uses of this information are currently being explored.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was passed in Congress and protects against any form of discrimination against those who have “bad genes.” The federal law protects the public from being required to undergo genetic testing by employers and health insurance companies that may lead to discrimination based on the findings of the genetic tests. However, the law still does not protect in the areas of schools, housing, or mortgage lending, as well as, the following forms of insurance:

  • Life insurance,
  • Long-term care, and
  • Disability insurance.

Why Employers Invest in Workplace Wellness Programs

However, in the last couple of months, a House bill has pushed forward that would carve out exceptions to the protections covered by GINA, specifically any workplace wellness programs that employers have the right to implement. The purpose behind workplace wellness programs is to improve employees’ health and lower the risks associated with preventable disease. The wellness programs are employer-backed and usually provide incentives such as gym memberships, and ask (if not require) that their employees fill out health questionnaires and biometric screenings for risks for certain diseases. The wellness programs may also provide counseling or aid in smoking cessation. The purpose of these wellness programs is not only to help employees initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to help limit workplace injuries, illnesses, and lower an employer’s medical spending. Additionally, the law allows the employers, under the ACA, to charge their employees a 30 to 50% increase in health insurance for declining to involve themselves in these wellness programs.

House Bill 1313 to Allow Employers to Request Genetic Testing from Employees

According to the bill, H.R. 1313, employers could be allowed to mandate genetic testing through the loophole of workplace wellness programs, and for any employees who refuses to test, there may be a considerable financial penalty attached for noncompliance. The bill states that it is of the utmost importance that employers be permitted to implement workplace wellness programs because they help to reduce the employer's spending on chronic illness and limit the health care costs associated with the sedentary lifestyle to which most workplaces contribute. Though the information that a company may receive as a result of genetic testing may be considered confidential and private, in smaller companies, where the employee pool is smaller, it could be considerably easier to determine which employees are at risk for which types of health issues.

Thenew bill would allow for employers to skirt the 2008 GINA federal law by permitting employers to discriminate against their employees under the guise of the employers’ workplace wellness programs.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

As an employee, you should feel protected in your workplace from any type of injury resulting from your employer’s negligence or discrimination. If you or a loved one has been injured during the course of your employment or your rights have been violated, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 870-1200 for a confidential consultation.

Our genetic structure can tell a lot about the type of people we are, the possible risks of contracting certain genetic diseases, and any predisposition that we may or may not have to certain ailments. Though this is the type of information that is critical to understanding and assessing our health risks and whether we should alter our health behaviors to lower risks for diseases to which we may be predisposed, the negative uses of this information are currently being explored.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was passed in Congress and protects against any form of discrimination against those who have “bad genes.” The federal law protects the public from being required to undergo genetic testing by employers and health insurance companies that may lead to discrimination based on the findings of the genetic tests. However, the law still does not protect in the areas of schools, housing, or mortgage lending, as well as, the following forms of insurance:

  • Life insurance,
  • Long-term care, and
  • Disability insurance.

Why Employers Invest in Workplace Wellness Programs

However, in the last couple of months, a House bill has pushed forward that would carve out exceptions to the protections covered by GINA, specifically any workplace wellness programs that employers have the right to implement. The purpose behind workplace wellness programs is to improve employees’ health and lower the risks associated with preventable disease. The wellness programs are employer-backed and usually provide incentives such as gym memberships, and ask (if not require) that their employees fill out health questionnaires and biometric screenings for risks for certain diseases. The wellness programs may also provide counseling or aid in smoking cessation. The purpose of these wellness programs is not only to help employees initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to help limit workplace injuries, illnesses, and lower an employer’s medical spending. Additionally, the law allows the employers, under the ACA, to charge their employees a 30 to 50% increase in health insurance for declining to involve themselves in these wellness programs.

House Bill 1313 to Allow Employers to Request Genetic Testing from Employees

According to the bill, H.R. 1313, employers could be allowed to mandate genetic testing through the loophole of workplace wellness programs, and for any employees who refuses to test, there may be a considerable financial penalty attached for noncompliance. The bill states that it is of the utmost importance that employers be permitted to implement workplace wellness programs because they help to reduce the employer's spending on chronic illness and limit the health care costs associated with the sedentary lifestyle to which most workplaces contribute. Though the information that a company may receive as a result of genetic testing may be considered confidential and private, in smaller companies, where the employee pool is smaller, it could be considerably easier to determine which employees are at risk for which types of health issues.

The new bill would allow for employers to skirt the 2008 GINA federal law by permitting employers to discriminate against their employees under the guise of the employers’ workplace wellness programs.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

As an employee, you should feel protected in your workplace from any type of injury resulting from your employer’s negligence or discrimination. If you or a loved one has been injured during the course of your employment or your rights have been violated, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.Our genetic structure can tell a lot about the type of people we are, the possible risks of contracting certain genetic diseases, and any predisposition that we may or may not have to certain ailments. Though this is the type of information that is critical to understanding and assessing our health risks and whether we should alter our health behaviors to lower risks for diseases to which we may be predisposed, the negative uses of this information are currently being explored.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was passed in Congress and protects against any form of discrimination against those who have “bad genes.” The federal law protects the public from being required to undergo genetic testing by employers and health insurance companies that may lead to discrimination based on the findings of the genetic tests. However, the law still does not protect in the areas of schools, housing, or mortgage lending, as well as, the following forms of insurance:

  • Life insurance,
  • Long-term care, and
  • Disability insurance.

Why Employers Invest in Workplace Wellness Programs

However, in the last couple of months, a House bill has pushed forward that would carve out exceptions to the protections covered by GINA, specifically any workplace wellness programs that employers have the right to implement. The purpose behind workplace wellness programs is to improve employees’ health and lower the risks associated with preventable disease. The wellness programs are employer-backed and usually provide incentives such as gym memberships, and ask (if not require) that their employees fill out health questionnaires and biometric screenings for risks for certain diseases. The wellness programs may also provide counseling or aid in smoking cessation. The purpose of these wellness programs is not only to help employees initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to help limit workplace injuries, illnesses, and lower an employer’s medical spending. Additionally, the law allows the employers, under the ACA, to charge their employees a 30 to 50% increase in health insurance for declining to involve themselves in these wellness programs.

House Bill 1313 to Allow Employers to Request Genetic Testing from Employees

According to the bill, H.R. 1313, employers could be allowed to mandate genetic testing through the loophole of workplace wellness programs, and for any employees who refuses to test, there may be a considerable financial penalty attached for noncompliance. The bill states that it is of the utmost importance that employers be permitted to implement workplace wellness programs because they help to reduce the employer's spending on chronic illness and limit the health care costs associated with the sedentary lifestyle to which most workplaces contribute. Though the information that a company may receive as a result of genetic testing may be considered confidential and private, in smaller companies, where the employee pool is smaller, it could be considerably easier to determine which employees are at risk for which types of health issues.

Thenew bill would allow for employers to skirt the 2008 GINA federal law by permitting employers to discriminate against their employees under the guise of the employers’ workplace wellness programs.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

As an employee, you should feel protected in your workplace from any type of injury resulting from your employer’s negligence or discrimination. If you or a loved one has been injured during the course of your employment or your rights have been violated, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.Our genetic structure can tell a lot about the type of people we are, the possible risks of contracting certain genetic diseases, and any predisposition that we may or may not have to certain ailments. Though this is the type of information that is critical to understanding and assessing our health risks and whether we should alter our health behaviors to lower risks for diseases to which we may be predisposed, the negative uses of this information are currently being explored.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

In 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was passed in Congress and protects against any form of discrimination against those who have “bad genes.” The federal law protects the public from being required to undergo genetic testing by employers and health insurance companies that may lead to discrimination based on the findings of the genetic tests. However, the law still does not protect in the areas of schools, housing, or mortgage lending, as well as, the following forms of insurance:

  • Life insurance,
  • Long-term care, and
  • Disability insurance.

Why Employers Invest in Workplace Wellness Programs

However, in the last couple of months, a House bill has pushed forward that would carve out exceptions to the protections covered by GINA, specifically any workplace wellness programs that employers have the right to implement. The purpose behind workplace wellness programs is to improve employees’ health and lower the risks associated with preventable disease. The wellness programs are employer-backed and usually provide incentives such as gym memberships, and ask (if not require) that their employees fill out health questionnaires and biometric screenings for risks for certain diseases. The wellness programs may also provide counseling or aid in smoking cessation. The purpose of these wellness programs is not only to help employees initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but to help limit workplace injuries, illnesses, and lower an employer’s medical spending. Additionally, the law allows the employers, under the ACA, to charge their employees a 30 to 50% increase in health insurance for declining to involve themselves in these wellness programs.

House Bill 1313 to Allow Employers to Request Genetic Testing from Employees

According to the bill, H.R. 1313, employers could be allowed to mandate genetic testing through the loophole of workplace wellness programs, and for any employees who refuses to test, there may be a considerable financial penalty attached for noncompliance. The bill states that it is of the utmost importance that employers be permitted to implement workplace wellness programs because they help to reduce the employer's spending on chronic illness and limit the health care costs associated with the sedentary lifestyle to which most workplaces contribute. Though the information that a company may receive as a result of genetic testing may be considered confidential and private, in smaller companies, where the employee pool is smaller, it could be considerably easier to determine which employees are at risk for which types of health issues.

The new bill would allow for employers to skirt the 2008 GINA federal law by permitting employers to discriminate against their employees under the guise of the employers’ workplace wellness programs.

Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You

As an employee, you should feel protected in your workplace from any type of injury resulting from your employer’s negligence or discrimination. If you or a loved one has been injured during the course of your employment or your rights have been violated, it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 870-1200 for a confidential consultation.

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