Policy Forum

Genetic Information and the Workplace: Legislative Approaches and Policy Challenges

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Science  21 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5307, pp. 1755-1757
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5307.1755

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The use of genetic information in the workplace poses societal risks that have an impact on employment possibilities, health insurance, and privacy. Individuals who might otherwise believe they can benefit from genetic testing may decline it because of their fear of employment discrimination and lack of privacy in the workplace. As a consequence, the future of research on the benefits and risks of predictive genetic testing may also be compromised. Thus, policy-makers need to evaluate legislative and regulatory strategies to address these concerns. This paper analyzes state and federal legislative approaches to genetic information in the workplace and concludes with a discussion of policy considerations and recommendation.