AFTD to Congress: Reject Genetic-Information Bill

In a March 17 letter (pdf) to four key members of Congress, AFTD Executive Director Susan L-J Dickinson spoke out against a bill that would require employees to divulge genetic information before joining employee wellness programs. The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313), if passed, would “impose harsh new penalties on employees who refuse to make this private [genetic] information public to their employer.” As Dickinson points out in her letter, genetic mutations are the likely cause of an estimated 15 to 40 percent of FTD cases. “While it aims to expand workplace wellness programs to improve public health outcomes,” Dickinson writes, “this legislation would significantly undercut patient privacy protection for employees at high risk for workplace and societal discrimination given the nature and severity of their illnesses or risk of illness.” Read the whole letter here.