Wearing Genes to Work – do we care about genetic discrimination in employment?

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Rapid advances in genetics and genomics in recent decades have allowed scientists to develop diagnostic techniques that can, with increasing accuracy, estimate the probability that people will develop, or not, certain illnesses. The ability to predict future health of individuals would bring numerous advantages to employers and insurers. However, the possibility of discrimination on the basis of genetic information is greatly feared by the international community and different societies across the globe. While there is extensive commentary on the subject of genetic discrimination in insurance, the problem of genetic discrimination in employment remains relatively understudied. This article addresses the gap in current literature and has three further aims. First, its objective is to determine whether the fear of litigation expressed by employers is warranted in light of the current legal regulation of genetic testing in the US, UK, and EU law. As such, it analyses the three main regulatory approaches to the use of genetic data in the workplace. Second, drawing on international law and domestic legal systems the article aims to analyse the existing provisions and remaining points of uncertainty. Finally, it proposes the directions for future research necessary for the comprehensive understanding of the use of genetic data by employers.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-71
JournalAnti-Discrimination Law Review
Volume2017
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017