President Clinton signed an executive order prohibiting federal departments and agencies from using genetic information in their hiring and promotion practices. The executive order prohibits federal employers from requesting genetic tests as a condition for being hired and from using protected genetic information to classify employees in such a way that it prevents them of opportunities for promotion. The order will provide strong privacy protections for any genetic information used for medical research, diagnosis, and treatment. The President also endorsed the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act of 1999. This act was intended to extend genetic discrimination protections to the private sector and to individuals buying health insurance. Although Congress did not pass this legislation, a similar bill called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2005 was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and, as this is being written, is under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Miller, P.S. Is there a pink slip in my gene? Genetic discrimination in the workplace. J. Health Care Law Policy, 3(2):225-265. 2000. [PubMed]
Last Reviewed: July 26, 2013