SHRM reiterated its strong stance against genetic discrimination in employment at a Jan.30 hearing before the House Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Capitol Hill.
Burton J. Fishman, SHRM member and employment-law expert, testified on behalf of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Employment (GINE) Coalition, which SHRM co-chairs. In his statement, Fishman voiced SHRM’s vigorous support of genetic nondiscrimination and confidentiality. In addition, he cautioned legislators to make certain that the Genetic Non-Discrimination Information Acteffectively targets discrimination, while not exposing well-intentioned employers to frivolous litigation.
“Let me be clear from the outset: The GINE Coalition strongly supports genetic nondiscrimination and confidentiality,” Fishman told the committee. “The Coalition believes that employment decisions should be based on an individual’s qualifications and ability to perform a job, not on characteristics that have no bearing on job performance.”
Fishman also stressed that employers in compliance with a new federal standard cannot be liable under the myriad of different state or local laws banning such discrimination. "There should be only one standard, your standard," he said.
For further information on the legislation, please contact SHRM Manager of Labor and Employment Legislation Michael Layman.
For more information about these and other public policy issues, please visit www.shrm.org
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