Genetic testing and workplace discrimination

When a new discovery is made and the dust has settled there is often a period of critical debate. The new discovery I am referring to is genetic testing and how genetic testing is a fairly accurate way of predicting a future disability.

Previous to genetic testing a worker must already be displaying symptoms of a genetic disorder before being classified as disabled. As it stands such workers are protected against disability discrimination. However, it appears that if you have a genetic test, but do not have any immediate symptoms, you are potentially putting yourself at risk of lawful discrimination. It is lawful in the sense that there is no law at present that covers such a predicament.

In New laws urged to stop discrimination on genetic grounds (James Randerson, The Guardian) there are signs that the government may be ready to draft new legislation to cover genetic testing in relation to employment-based discrimination. The main basis, it is argued, is that employers may use such information as an indication of future productivity. It's as if being diagnosed is not enough of a punishment.

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