Magazine article Workforce

Does Genetic Testing Send the Wrong Message?

Magazine article Workforce

Does Genetic Testing Send the Wrong Message?

Article excerpt

Genetic testing may one day unlock the mysteries of life and disease. But should companies screen and test their employees for, say, genetic abnormalities? Some argue it could help prevent occupational diseases, and make it possible for employees to undergo specialized treatments. Others worry about the legal and ethical issues such as the invasion of privacy, the potential for discrimination and the loss of insurance benefits. WORKFORCE examines this highly debated issue by looking at opposing views on whether genetic testing belongs in the workplace.

Point

Name: Eric von Slyke, principal

Company: HR Alliance in Greensboro, North Carolina

Business: Human resources consulting firm

Policy: Von Slyke believes that making personnel decisions based on genetic characteristics only erodes trust in the workplace. To minimize the conflict that's inherent in the overall notion of genetic testing, managers must make sure they're constantly listening to the concerns of their employees.

Argument: There are a number of negative reasons for not conducting genetic testing on employees, and they all relate to misuse of information. Yes,, employers uncover potential risks to hiring, placing or continuing to employ a worker identified as having certain genetic problems. However, most employees will perceive this as highly invasive. Genetic testing will confirm in employees' minds that the organization doesn't really care about them. If a manager makes a decision about an employee's future because of this information, the manager has created a potentially destructive conflict. What should count in the workplace is whether the employee performs his or her job to the employer's satisfaction, not whether at some time in the future he or she might perform below expectations because of a genetic disorder. To minimize the conflict that's inherent in the overall notion of genetic testing, RR managers must constantly listen to the concerns, needs and wants of their employees. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.