Bill Could Require Employees To Submit To Genetic Testing Or Face Financial Penalties
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved legislation that would allow employers to ding workers up to 30 percent of the cost of their health insurance if they refuse to participate in genetic testing as part of a company's wellness program.
The Washington Post:
Employees Who Decline Genetic Testing Could Face Penalties Under Proposed Bill
Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law. In general, employers don't have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program. (Sun, 3/11)
The New York Times:
How Healthy Are You? G.O.P. Bill Would Help Employers Find Out
The bill, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina and the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, would also significantly increase the financial costs faced by someone who does not join a company wellness program. The bill, which is under review by other House committees and has yet to be considered by the Senate, has already provoked fierce opposition from a wide range of consumer, health and privacy advocacy groups, as well as by House Democrats. Critics claim it undermines existing laws aimed at protecting an individual’s personal medical information from use by employer and others. (Abelson, 3/10)