Theses Bachelor's

Employer and Employee Attitudes toward Genetic Testing in the Workplace

Schwartz, Jessica

The present study aimed to examine both employer and employee attitudes concerning the disclosure of genetic testing results. This endeavor was inspired in light of current standards that limit the individual’s right to privacy with regard to the results of genetic tests and previous studies, which demonstrate that this may cause both physical and psychological harm to affected individuals. This study surveyed employers and employees from workplaces subject to and exempt from the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). One hundred employers and five hundred employees completed surveys meant to assess their feelings about genetic testing and the effects of the employer-employee relationship and prescribed government standards. It was found that employees reported increased willingness to undergo genetic testing if they were not required to disclose results to their employers. In addition, the results showed that GINA employers were more willing to hire those testing positive for genetic conditions than were non-GINA employers. Finally, it was found that GINA employers were less likely to support genetic testing mandates for new employees than non-GINA employers. These findings highlight the importance of the individual’s right to privacy with respect to genetic testing. In order to minimize harm, in this case discrimination in the workplace, and maximize welfare, encouraging proactive health precautions, individuals must reserve the sole right to disclose genetic testing results at their own discretion.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
January 24, 2013