Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

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Employee Privacy Rights � PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT �7�

Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

Bill Ward

Axia College of University of Phoenix

COM 120 Effective Persuasive Writing

Cynthia Jones

April 15, 2007



Employee Privacy Rights in the Workplace

The developments made in biomedical technology and researches over the last few years have led to amazing advances in the detection of genetic diseases and conditions. Like with many ground breaking discoveries, there are concerns about how the technologies will be used. A major concern is the application of genetic testing in the workplace. Genetic testing in the workplace could be a vital tool for reducing costs for employers and insurance companies. This poses the question of whether an individual's genetic condition, or predisposition, could lead to workplace discrimination.

When describing genetic testing there are two categories; genetic monitoring and genetic screening. Genetic monitoring is used to detect genetic abnormalities which can be caused by an exposure to workplace toxins (Macdonald & Williams-Jones, 2002).

Monitoring for genetic changes is a way to check periodically if an individual has been exposed to a hazardous material, similar to using a radiation badge to check for radiation exposure. Genetic screening, on the other hand, can be used to determine if an individual has a hereditary trait that could manifest itself in a future health condition or disease. Screening can also be used to optimize drug therapies for an individual's medical treatment. The major concern with genetic testing is its possible use by employers in their hiring practice. �

The use of genetic testing by employers could save their company future financial liabilities by limiting their hiring to only particular individuals that carry no illness or disease related genes. Requiring workers or potential employees to submit to genetic testing also raises moral and ethical...