|Employers may conduct employment genetic testing of current employees if that is job-related and consistent with business necessity. However, undisclosed genetic testing is not permissible in law.
An employer is responsible for the safety of its employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) was designed to reduce risk of injury in the workplace. OSHA allows genetic monitoring and screening program to improve employee health and safety.
Genetic testing may be used to warn people with particular genetic pre dispositions prone to certain sickness to avoid specific jobs, on workplace safety considerations. OSHA will require the most precise testing available in order to ensure the safety of workers. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not protect workers from post-employment genetic screening, the employer can organize workplace safety related genetic tests without any fear of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Virtually every state has its own legislation in place to regulate genetic testing. A large number of states ban discrimination based on genetic test results or the refusal to take a genetic test.
A significant number of state laws prohibit employers from requiring job applicants or employees to undergo genetic testing. In 1996 New York passed a law restricting genetic testing by disallowing the use of such testing as a condition of employment, membership or license. Further, employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, and licensing agencies are prohibited from obtaining such test results.