The Role of the NHGRI in the Federal Legislative Process

President Bill Clinton's Executive Order Prohibiting the Use of Genetic Information In Hiring or Promoting

On February 8, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order prohibiting federal departments and agencies from using genetic information in any hiring or promotion action. This executive order, was endorsed by many groups, including the American Medical Association [], the American College of Medical Genetics [], the National Society of Genetic Counselors [] and the Genetic Alliance [].

The executive order:
  • Prohibits requesting genetic tests as a condition of being hired or in determining benefits or an employee's ability to perform his or her job.

  • Prohibits using genetic information in a manner that deprives employees of advancement opportunities.

  • Provides strong privacy protections for any genetic information used in medical treatment or research. Obtaining or disclosing genetic information about employees or potential employees is prohibited, except when necessary to provide medical treatment or to ensure workplace safety, or when used in an anonymous fashion in health research.

Last Reviewed: March 9, 2012