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|Subject: Land of Decree and Home of the Slave: Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:47 pm|| |
|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.
Such programs — which offer workers a variety of carrots and sticks to monitor and improve their health, such as lowering cholesterol — have become increasingly popular with companies. Some offer discounts on health insurance to employees who complete health-risk assessments. Others might charge people more for smoking. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are allowed to discount health insurance premiums by up to 30 percent — and in some cases 50 percent — for employees who voluntarily participate in a wellness program.
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