Outlawing genetic bias in the workplace

Eric Niiler Feb 15, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Outlawing genetic bias in the workplace

Eric Niiler Feb 15, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Congress may soon make it illegal for companies to fire you because of your genes. And I’m not talking about denim pants. We’re talking about genes that cause health problems. Eric Niiler has more from Washington.


ERIC NIILER: Many states already ban employers and insurers from collecting genetic information and using it in business decisions.

For the past 12 years, the Republican-controlled House blocked a wider federal ban. But yesterday, the proposal passed an important committee vote.

New York Democrat Louise Slaughter says people need protection from this kind of genetic bias.

REP. LOUISE SLAUGHTER: The worst part is its so discriminatory. We know its taking place, we’ve got numerous instances where people have lost their job because someone in their family or maybe they had a gene that scared people to death.

Slaughter says some folks fear taking part in clinical trials, because they worry their genetic data will be released and used against them.

Business groups oppose the bill. They say claims of discrimination are overblown.

In Washington, I’m Eric Niiler for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.