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Old 13th March 2017, 04:43 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
"Need" doesn't sound like the right word but the premise was to screen for health issues, possibly to reduce company-paid insurance costs.
So the long run your/their goal with that is have the people needing a job but potentially more sick, get kicked out of their payroll and end homeless/die early.

I have no idea what sort of society you envision this would result in, but from what i can see that is even more distopyan than some of huxley's work.

ETA: my starting point is and has always been : a society should be judged on how it handle its most vulnerable member : the young, the sick, the old, the prisonners, the mentally ill.

needless to say a society as selective and crushing for the old7sick as you envision it... Cannot be judged well by me. As such you can see why my and your POV clashes.

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Old 13th March 2017, 05:07 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
So the long run your/their goal with that is have the people needing a job but potentially more sick, get kicked out of their payroll and end homeless/die early.

I have no idea what sort of society you envision this would result in, but from what i can see that is even more distopyan than some of huxley's work.

ETA: my starting point is and has always been : a society should be judged on how it handle its most vulnerable member : the young, the sick, the old, the prisonners, the mentally ill.

needless to say a society as selective and crushing for the old7sick as you envision it... Cannot be judged well by me. As such you can see why my and your POV clashes.
Part of the clash is probably because I don't see the slippery slope element you outline. Rather, I see it as part of the status quo.

We already sort workers/hires on a scale. It goes from "star" to "desirable" to "fits the job" to "not my first choice" all the way down to "undesirable" and "unemployable." It is not the case that no one but the "stars" gets hired.

Try it this way. You have X number of jobs and Y applicants. IF Y > X, you will need some sorting mechanism. There is no sorting mechanism wherein everyone gets a job. The choice isn't between more or less people starve, the number of jobs stays the same, no matter what criteria you use to select workers. It could be rolling dice and the situation doesn't change.

Tell me how you get from what I describe (the current situation) to a worse situation because we add another piece of data (DNA testing) to the selection process. Where does the injustice arise?

You could make a stronger case against robotics. At least there we are replacing a human with a machine. Here we are replacing one person with another person.
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Old 13th March 2017, 08:44 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Part of the clash is probably because I don't see the slippery slope element you outline. Rather, I see it as part of the status quo.

We already sort workers/hires on a scale. It goes from "star" to "desirable" to "fits the job" to "not my first choice" all the way down to "undesirable" and "unemployable." It is not the case that no one but the "stars" gets hired.

Try it this way. You have X number of jobs and Y applicants. IF Y > X, you will need some sorting mechanism. There is no sorting mechanism wherein everyone gets a job. The choice isn't between more or less people starve, the number of jobs stays the same, no matter what criteria you use to select workers. It could be rolling dice and the situation doesn't change.

Tell me how you get from what I describe (the current situation) to a worse situation because we add another piece of data (DNA testing) to the selection process. Where does the injustice arise?

You could make a stronger case against robotics. At least there we are replacing a human with a machine. Here we are replacing one person with another person.
Then let me make it clear : many (if not all) western society make intentional obstacle (if not downright forbid) to judge hire based on what is deemed irrelevant to the employer :
sex, gender, race, and yes previous illness or possible future illness.

The reason for that and why such a scheme would not work in society which trully protect their citizen, is that such a scheme would immediately make some citizen second class by virtue of having the wrong genetic marker.

The DNA test is exactely equivalent of saying your are XX ? You are not hired. You are XY ? You are hired. This is basically discrimination at a similar level. You discriminate against people not of because possible job performance, but simply because you dislike their genetic make up. And after all, pregancy can be even worst than possible diabetes cost.

There is a reason why we should have all equality of opportunity (I fully agree equality of outcomes is bad). You want to remove equality of opportunity. If you can't see why this is an execrable idea, then I can't help you, you then obviously think like bobthecoward that some citizen should be able to be declared second class and dropped by society on the byside.

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Old 13th March 2017, 08:57 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Good. Then I suppose you agree with me that pre-employment DNA testing represents no concerns for applicants? That was the original issue before it took the hypothetical, sci-fi bent.
So you can't support any science behind an employer testing an employee's DNA and you switch the burden to the employee to prove it would be harmful?

How about the employee's rightful concern the employer is using bad science to screen employees?
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Old 13th March 2017, 09:02 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
....

If a young person entering into the workforce were to be tested and found positive for Huntington's do you think an employer might hesitate to see them added to the company's insurance plan? Or even to their workforce if they were to see the result of years of investment in training at risk?
Ever hear about the concept of cost/benefit analysis?

Are you supporting screening of one's employees because there might be the rare case of Huntington's among them?

That is one heck of a stretch to support employers testing employees' DNA.

Why do you have to go to this extreme to find a hypothetical? Could it be because there is no legit screening at this point you could use as an example?
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:53 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Those arguing against using genetic information are advocating avoiding a true state of the world for social convenience. This seems anti-science and anti-empirical to me.

Suppose we were talking about worker protection here. If some allele made a person particularly susceptible to black lung, shouldn't that impact their ability to work as a coal miner? What about if I know your DNA is XY, you are of child bearing age, and the job entails working around teratogens?
I strongly disagree. I'm not arguing against giving an individual access to know their own or their child's genetic information. I'm arguing (strongly) against giving that information to third parties (employers).

You can couch it as worker protection... But if a person has an allele that makes them susceptible to black lung but coal mining is the only job available to them, do you think it's appropriate to deny them the opportunity to assess their own risk and decide whether being able to eat and have shelter for the next 20 years at the risk of potentially developing an illness down the road is a fair trade-off for them? What if the female in your example has no interest in and no intention of bearing children?

Why do you thin it's appropriate to remove those life decisions from the individual whose life it is, and place that decision-making right in the hands of an employer?
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Old 13th March 2017, 10:55 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You mean like with Down syndrome?

If bedwetting had merit as a job performance indicator, then it should be used.

It puzzles me why you would want to deny an employer the means to get the best employee for the job, or why you would think they'd exclude people on a whim when they absolutely want to hire the best employee for the job.
You know, working long hours and not taking maternity leave is a performance indicator. Do you support employers being able to refuse to hire a woman, because she is genetically predisposed to bearing children?
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:02 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Throwing "genetics" into the mix is a red herring. If employers can hire workers based on their abilities/talents then any reliable/factual information along those lines should be equivalent. Test scores, previous job performance... whatever. I can't see why genetic information - to the extent it is accurate - should be treated any differently.
Test scores and previous job performance are evidence of accomplishments. Genetic information is a potential possibility that may or may not occur at some point in the future.

Evaluating a person's likely prospects based on what has actually occurred is pretty reasonable. Evaluating a person's likely prospects based on what *might* happen isn't very reasonable and has the potential to be extraordinarily discriminatory.
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:08 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
That seems extreme but certainly a possibility. How does it work now for those who have impairments? If I am born blind, am I destined to being homeless for 60 years and dying in a gutter?
Go check out ADA.
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Old 13th March 2017, 11:53 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Ever hear about the concept of cost/benefit analysis?

Are you supporting screening of one's employees because there might be the rare case of Huntington's among them?

That is one heck of a stretch to support employers testing employees' DNA.

Why do you have to go to this extreme to find a hypothetical? Could it be because there is no legit screening at this point you could use as an example?
Adding to my post: not to mention the ADA would make it illegal to discriminate against this employee because of this disability.
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Old 13th March 2017, 01:07 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Ever hear about the concept of cost/benefit analysis?

Are you supporting screening of one's employees because there might be the rare case of Huntington's among them?

That is one heck of a stretch to support employers testing employees' DNA.

Why do you have to go to this extreme to find a hypothetical? Could it be because there is no legit screening at this point you could use as an example?

Dial it down a few notches there, SG. Your ire is overwhelming your reading comprehension.

I wasn't advocating anything at all. Quite the contrary. If I was, I'd be advocating keeping DNA tests away from employers, whose motives are not the best interests of the people applying for jobs , or even the people employed by them. I expect I'm on your side in this discussion.

marsplots asked for;
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Help me out with your expertise. What genetic tests do we have right now that might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample? Any at all?
Any example at all. I gave him the first one that came to mind.

Then I continued by explaining that within the context of the OP, the ramifications of such testing if done by an employer were far from simple, and that those ramifications could have negative influences entirely unrelated to questions of employment suitability.

Hence, also an example of why workplace DNA testing isn't a simple, straightforward proposition.

Yeah. It's extreme. The consequences of developing Huntington's are extreme.

As an example, though, it isn't even close to as extreme as some of the hypotheticals and analogies we see around here. And it's a real life thing.
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Old 13th March 2017, 01:20 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I strongly disagree. I'm not arguing against giving an individual access to know their own or their child's genetic information. I'm arguing (strongly) against giving that information to third parties (employers).

You can couch it as worker protection... But if a person has an allele that makes them susceptible to black lung but coal mining is the only job available to them, do you think it's appropriate to deny them the opportunity to assess their own risk and decide whether being able to eat and have shelter for the next 20 years at the risk of potentially developing an illness down the road is a fair trade-off for them?

<snip>
It would probably be worse than that. I grew up in coal mining country, and I know how the coal companies fight tooth and nail to avoid any responsibility for any work related respiratory illnesses.

If they had access to such a test I doubt it would cause even a hiccup's worth of hesitation by them when hiring new employees.

What they would do is hang on to that tidbit, and if such an employee were to subsequently suffer from a respiratory illness they would drag it out, point to it, and say; "Look. Not our fault.", and deny any financial responsibility they might otherwise have incurred.
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Old 13th March 2017, 01:34 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Adding to my post: not to mention the ADA would make it illegal to discriminate against this employee because of this disability.

I'm not sure that the potential to maybe develop some illness at some unknown time in the future is a protected condition in the ADA.

Not to mention that an employer is under no constraint to admit that they are rejecting an applicant or dismissing an employee for something they unearthed in a DNA profile. They can find plenty of other reasons and claim those instead, or, if they are in an "At Will" state (which is most of them these days) no reason at all.

It is always up to the individual to prove that the reason they were rejected or dismissed is one covered by the ADA or by other employment protections. The company in question just needs to find some plausible explanation which isn't covered.

They weasel out of a lot of lawsuits that way.
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Old 13th March 2017, 03:19 PM   #94
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The ADA and anti-discrimination laws are mechanisms we use to prevent employer abuse of what we take as societal goods. However, neither requires an employer to pay more for a worker, they only require "reasonable accommodation." This is fine, and I expect DNA would fall under the same rules.

Here's how it might work. You apply for a job. I ask for a DNA sample (among other things - drug test, certified copies of college transcripts and criminal history). At this point, you are free to withdraw if you do not want to disclose.

I find from your DNA that you have a genetic predisposition for some disease. If it is a susceptibility to something in the work environment, some chemical or other, I won't hire you - and that's for your protection. This is allowed now and may even be required under OSHA rules.

If it is a general propensity to get some future disease, and my interest is in saving insurance costs, all I have to do is offer you the job with a stipulation that this condition will not be covered by the health insurance I offer. I am willing to do a "carve out". At this point, you may or may not decide to take the job.

We are negotiating, that's all. Remember, I want to hire you. I want a win/win here.

How about a real world example? You apply for a job and I find out you have DNA indicating XX. I know there is a probability that employees I hire who are XX will become pregnant and not able to work. I tell you that my company does not offer maternity leave or benefits related to pregnancy. You are free to take the job under those conditions or not.
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Old 14th March 2017, 12:16 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I find from your DNA that you have a genetic predisposition for some disease. If it is a susceptibility to something in the work environment, some chemical or other, I won't hire you - and that's for your protection. This is allowed now and may even be required under OSHA rules.

If it is a general propensity to get some future disease, and my interest is in saving insurance costs, all I have to do is offer you the job with a stipulation that this condition will not be covered by the health insurance I offer. I am willing to do a "carve out". At this point, you may or may not decide to take the job.
Let's take a real example here. You're the employer, I'm the job applicant. My DNA indicates that I have a genetic predisposition to a seizure disorder of which I am unaware.

Do you deny me employment because I present a liability risk to your company? I mean, I might have a seizure at work and injure myself, making a worker's comp claim.

Do you offer me contingent employment that won't cover any future costs related to seizure activity, including the drugs I would need to take to prevent those seizures?

Are any of your answers affected by the fact that I don't know I have a predisposition to this condition?

What if it's a genetic marker for cancer, in a person who doesn't have cancer and didn't even know they had the marker?

What's your take on an employer presenting a diagnosis of a medical condition to a prospective employee? Or do they just keep it top themselves, so now they know more about the HIPPA protected medical conditions of that individual than the individual does? Where does ethics figure into this - both medical and business?
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Old 14th March 2017, 01:38 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Let's take a real example here. You're the employer, I'm the job applicant. My DNA indicates that I have a genetic predisposition to a seizure disorder of which I am unaware.

Do you deny me employment because I present a liability risk to your company? I mean, I might have a seizure at work and injure myself, making a worker's comp claim.
Depends on the job, but generally no. After you develop the seizure disorder (if you do) then I wouldn't offer a job that puts other workers at risk to accommodate the condition. (I don't think this is controversial now.)

Quote:
Do you offer me contingent employment that won't cover any future costs related to seizure activity, including the drugs I would need to take to prevent those seizures?
Yes, I will hire you if you agree to the stipulation. (Provided you are otherwise a good fit.)

Quote:
Are any of your answers affected by the fact that I don't know I have a predisposition to this condition?
No.

Quote:
What if it's a genetic marker for cancer, in a person who doesn't have cancer and didn't even know they had the marker?
If you agree to the testing, you know it may reveal some difficult things. Whatever the marker indicates, I would try to get you to waive that as an insured benefit. Providing, of course, that this reduced my insurance costs. (The thought experiment doesn't work without that bit.)

Quote:
What's your take on an employer presenting a diagnosis of a medical condition to a prospective employee? Or do they just keep it top themselves, so now they know more about the HIPPA protected medical conditions of that individual than the individual does? Where does ethics figure into this - both medical and business?
I think individuals have the right to any medical information their employer has about them. Similar to credit checks and financial information. This serves as an aid to preventing errors - and it serves no one to not seek the honest truth. We very much wish to know the facts to base our actions on.

Employers would need the prospective employees' permission to obtain the information. I expect the incentive for the employee would be getting hired or not - no disclosure and I'm going to suspect you are concealing something.

You didn't mention the positive benefits for employees. I want potential employers to drug test me - I know I'll pass. If my health is good, I want them to check. Practically, someone would have their DNA run before trying to enter the job market, or at least that slice which required DNA testing.

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Old 14th March 2017, 03:14 PM   #97
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And if your DNA shows that you're prone to cardiovascular disease or type II diabetes, are you willing to politely go off into a corner and die so as not to take up resources? Who's to say the employer is only going to look for severe genetic disorders? After all, they're willing to hire people based on things like handwriting analysis or polygraph tests, which are effectively useless screening tools.

And with the current government trying to make pregnancy a pre-existing non-covered medical condition, you might as well rule out employing all those nasty XX people, right? If they get pregnant and can't pay out of pocket for medical care, they'll have lots of health problems, I'm sure.
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Old 14th March 2017, 03:17 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Goodness of heart? No. Just another way of evaluating a possible hire. Despite the way you've made it sound negative, it's going to be a boon for those who meet whatever criteria are set. I don't see it as much different than asking about grades in college or criminal history.

Do you think employees should be able to conceal medical conditions from their employers? It doesn't seem right for someone to take on a job just for the medical benefits - say, if I were pregnant or had a seizure disorder and kept it to myself, just to cash in on an employer's health insurance and then quitting.

It's not clear to me why I'm lying when I don't disclose some things to a potential employer but invoking "privacy" if I conceal others.

"Yeah, sorry. I forgot to mention I'll be blind in a year. But don't worry, it's a genetic disorder, so you had no right to find out anyhow."
If you can't differentiate between demonstrated behavior and genetic possibiulities, I don't know quite how to proceed.

At best, if I understand it correctly genetic test results indicate a possible future medical issue.

A documented history of criminal behavior or the failure to perform to a academic standard is an actual, not a possible.

Simply put, not everything in your life is the business of your employer. I have been and and am now subject to drug/alcohol testing both randomly and for cause due to my employment contract. Before I even signed on, a full background check was performed and my employment history was verified. That is completely reasonable given exactly what I do and who I do it for. If I were to go off the rails and demonstrate that I was unfit to perform as needed because of some mental or behavioral issue, my employer would be well within their rights to determine to their satisfaction that I was able or unable to continue to perform my duties.

Some guy that is asking "you want frys with that?" shouldn't' have that level of pre-employment scrutiny. If the employee is hired and the employer believes the individual is under the influence, that's a whole different issue and one that in most states outside of collective bargaining unit employees is easily solved.

I believe it is well within the authority of employers to conduct pre-employment criminal record checks, credit checks and social security number verification checks on applicants, and if the applicant will be involved in activities that require a heightened level of responsibility, a full security clearance level vetting may be appropriate, but the idea that any employer could require a DNA test as a pre-employment screen is ludicrous.
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Old 14th March 2017, 03:25 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Depends on the job, but generally no. After you develop the seizure disorder (if you do) then I wouldn't offer a job that puts other workers at risk to accommodate the condition. (I don't think this is controversial now.)

Yes, I will hire you if you agree to the stipulation. (Provided you are otherwise a good fit.)
This is actually a pretty relevant situation. I did just recently get diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Thankfully I already have a good job that covered my medical costs (ER and Ambulance, MRI, CT Scan, a host of lab tests, Neurology visits, and drug costs). Under your approach, however, I may very well be locked in to this job and unable to seek employment elsewhere... assuming that your viewpoint doesn't allow the employer to fire me because I've incurred a serious medical condition.

Seizures present a risk to the patient in any setting, even sitting at a desk could result in injury on premise if a seizure occurs. There are drug costs associated with controlling the condition - if those are excluded from my health plan, I'm at risk of not being able to afford the drugs that keep me from having a seizure in the first place... and since seizures come with a materially increased risk of brain damage and death, a lack of reasonable access to those drugs means that both my quality of life, my livelihood, and my life span are all jeopardized.

My choices boil down to A) Agree to the DNA testing which means I won't be hired or B) Decline to be DNA tested which means I won't be hired.

Do you have a plan for me, or shall I just go ahead and die?


Originally Posted by marplots View Post
No.
That's even more concerning. If I had been seeking employment with you just 6 months ago, I would have no idea that I was epileptic. If I consented to the DNA screen, you would deny me employment while simultaneously providing me with a medical diagnosis. I would be left with a potentially life-threatening disorder and no access to care for it.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
If you agree to the testing, you know it may reveal some difficult things. Whatever the marker indicates, I would try to get you to waive that as an insured benefit. Providing, of course, that this reduced my insurance costs. (The thought experiment doesn't work without that bit.)
See the scenario above. You either don't hire me, or you don't provide me access to coverage. Either way, you put me at a significant disadvantage and risk, with no reasonable recourse.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I think individuals have the right to any medical information their employer has about them. Similar to credit checks and financial information. This serves as an aid to preventing errors - and it serves no one to not seek the honest truth. We very much wish to know the facts to base our actions on.

Employers would need the prospective employees' permission to obtain the information. I expect the incentive for the employee would be getting hired or not - no disclosure and I'm going to suspect you are concealing something.
I agree that employees should have a right to any medical information their employer might have about them. I disagree with the opposite though - I don't think the employer has any right to the medical information of their employees.


Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You didn't mention the positive benefits for employees. I want potential employers to drug test me - I know I'll pass. If my health is good, I want them to check. Practically, someone would have their DNA run before trying to enter the job market, or at least that slice which required DNA testing.
I didn't mention it, because I'm having a really hard time seeing the positive benefits to the employee. It kind of boils down to "Prove you don't have a risk of illness and we'll consider giving you a job; but if you have any risk at all, oh well, you get to be unemployed and probably die". I'm not seeing a whole lot of benefit there... unless you're lucky enough to not have any genetic predispositions (regardless of whether the condition itself is present or not). It's yet one more barrier to merit being the most important factor in employment.
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Old 14th March 2017, 04:02 PM   #100
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Being self employed, I suddenly appreciate the advantages.

DNA testing? Go foxtrot oscar. That is none of your beeswax.

You hire me to do a job and I do the job. There it ends. It matters not a whit if my ancestors are six fingered lumpheads.
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Old 14th March 2017, 04:23 PM   #101
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I dealt with a simpler version of this many years ago. A company was hiring for one of those glorified cafeteria lunch type places. I think everyone in my household went down, applied, and was hired for training (those of us who were employed at the time had less-than-ideal jobs like janitor work at a peep-show). We all did well during the training and were assured of a job - then they announced they would do polygraphs on all the trainees. State law at the time said that they could not demand polygraphs as a condition for employment, so we reminded them that we didn't have to take the test.

Not a single person that asserted their legal rights was hired, even though several of us had been running circles around the other trainees on things like cash register skills.

I ended up taking a completely different job that required being bonded. There was a valid reason for it, and I was rapidly approved since I had a spotless record. But some places wouldn't hire, even for fast food, without a pre-employment polygraph, whether it was legal or not. So why would I think that employers would be better about that sort of thing now?
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:10 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
And if your DNA shows that you're prone to cardiovascular disease or type II diabetes, are you willing to politely go off into a corner and die so as not to take up resources? Who's to say the employer is only going to look for severe genetic disorders? After all, they're willing to hire people based on things like handwriting analysis or polygraph tests, which are effectively useless screening tools.
Gee whiz, you know people get those conditions now, right? And they don't "go off and die." Why does adding more information by way of DNA suddenly make employers evil and employees victims?

There is nothing special about information gleaned from DNA. It's just data.

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And with the current government trying to make pregnancy a pre-existing non-covered medical condition, you might as well rule out employing all those nasty XX people, right? If they get pregnant and can't pay out of pocket for medical care, they'll have lots of health problems, I'm sure.
If, as a society, we wish to cover various medical conditions then we, as a society should pay for them. What is the justification for making employers pay the freight?

I have seen the system I suggest in practice, not for healthcare, but for the poor. It was a jobs program in Detroit. If you hired someone who was getting government benefits at a normal wage, the state would reimburse the employer some percentage of the wage. The net result is that costs to the employer were lower for these individuals. That gave those employees a competitive advantage.

It could work the same way for certain medical conditions. If the government covered the costs to an employer for diabetics, then diabetics gain a competitive advantage over others. So the system can still be influenced in the way you want.
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:25 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
If you can't differentiate between demonstrated behavior and genetic possibiulities, I don't know quite how to proceed.

At best, if I understand it correctly genetic test results indicate a possible future medical issue.

A documented history of criminal behavior or the failure to perform to a academic standard is an actual, not a possible.
We are talking about predicting the future. None of the things you cite do that any better or worse than DNA - or, if you like, we could limit any/all of those things based on their ability to predict the future. We could make them equivalent. Remember, there is no incentive for employers to get it wrong. They only benefit to the extent that any of those data points actually do predict future outcomes.

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Simply put, not everything in your life is the business of your employer. I have been and and am now subject to drug/alcohol testing both randomly and for cause due to my employment contract. Before I even signed on, a full background check was performed and my employment history was verified. That is completely reasonable given exactly what I do and who I do it for. If I were to go off the rails and demonstrate that I was unfit to perform as needed because of some mental or behavioral issue, my employer would be well within their rights to determine to their satisfaction that I was able or unable to continue to perform my duties.
None of that changes. DNA is not some magical ingredient here. It only adds to the information at hand. Addiction is a medical condition that may have ramifications for employment (and it may not, many addicts are gainfully employed). A drug test is a medical test. It doesn't prove you are an addict or not. It doesn't predict with certainty you will fail at the job because of drug use. However, we think it's statistically relevant enough to matter. Same with DNA.

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Some guy that is asking "you want frys with that?" shouldn't' have that level of pre-employment scrutiny. If the employee is hired and the employer believes the individual is under the influence, that's a whole different issue and one that in most states outside of collective bargaining unit employees is easily solved.
Depends on the job. Some jobs are more highly vetted than others. I don't expect this to change.

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I believe it is well within the authority of employers to conduct pre-employment criminal record checks, credit checks and social security number verification checks on applicants, and if the applicant will be involved in activities that require a heightened level of responsibility, a full security clearance level vetting may be appropriate, but the idea that any employer could require a DNA test as a pre-employment screen is ludicrous.
It only seems ridiculous because it isn't yet the norm. Credit checks and criminal history weren't always the norm either.

What is it you wish to conceal by hiding your DNA, and why? Are you OK with an employer concealing relevant matters of fact about the job which impact your net wages adversely?

"No, we didn't see any reason to disclose all the 401(k) money was being invested in my aunt Lucy's honey bee farm in Nome. Why would we?"

Transparency builds trust. We all want to operate with actual facts. Many of us think it allows for better decisions.
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Old 15th March 2017, 12:47 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
This is actually a pretty relevant situation. I did just recently get diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Thankfully I already have a good job that covered my medical costs (ER and Ambulance, MRI, CT Scan, a host of lab tests, Neurology visits, and drug costs). Under your approach, however, I may very well be locked in to this job and unable to seek employment elsewhere... assuming that your viewpoint doesn't allow the employer to fire me because I've incurred a serious medical condition.

Seizures present a risk to the patient in any setting, even sitting at a desk could result in injury on premise if a seizure occurs. There are drug costs associated with controlling the condition - if those are excluded from my health plan, I'm at risk of not being able to afford the drugs that keep me from having a seizure in the first place... and since seizures come with a materially increased risk of brain damage and death, a lack of reasonable access to those drugs means that both my quality of life, my livelihood, and my life span are all jeopardized.

My choices boil down to A) Agree to the DNA testing which means I won't be hired or B) Decline to be DNA tested which means I won't be hired.

Do you have a plan for me, or shall I just go ahead and die?
You are in that situation now. Unless you conceal your medical condition from future employers. Do you feel your choice now is between staying where you are or just shuffling off to die?

What about before your diagnosis? Is it your position that you should be able to conceal the truth from a possible employer? What you are describing is theft by fraud. It's as bad as me getting a job at a bank with the intention of someday (maybe when my gambling debts get too high) robbing the bank.

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That's even more concerning. If I had been seeking employment with you just 6 months ago, I would have no idea that I was epileptic. If I consented to the DNA screen, you would deny me employment while simultaneously providing me with a medical diagnosis. I would be left with a potentially life-threatening disorder and no access to care for it.
And if the company goes bankrupt tomorrow or you are downsized? The problem stems from linking insurance to employment. The only reason employers are interested is because of the potential costs entailed in that equation. What moral justification do you have for requiring the employer to bear the burden of your illness?

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See the scenario above. You either don't hire me, or you don't provide me access to coverage. Either way, you put me at a significant disadvantage and risk, with no reasonable recourse.
I would advocate for a publicly-funded recourse. We have that now. People who are medically disabled don't just die when they leave the job market. They either find employment in another area or they go on welfare. Under what rubric should employers shoulder what is a societal burden?

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I agree that employees should have a right to any medical information their employer might have about them. I disagree with the opposite though - I don't think the employer has any right to the medical information of their employees.
Medical information isn't special. It's just information. Good for some things, not so good for others. I think your objection is better directed at the misuse of such information, not on having it at all.

Should airlines be able to test a pilot's vision? That's medical information. We don't squawk because it's information relevant to the job. There's nothing holy about medical information that makes it untouchable.


Quote:
I didn't mention it, because I'm having a really hard time seeing the positive benefits to the employee. It kind of boils down to "Prove you don't have a risk of illness and we'll consider giving you a job; but if you have any risk at all, oh well, you get to be unemployed and probably die". I'm not seeing a whole lot of benefit there... unless you're lucky enough to not have any genetic predispositions (regardless of whether the condition itself is present or not). It's yet one more barrier to merit being the most important factor in employment.
If you lose your job because of your illness, don't they hire someone to replace you? If I took the hyperbole seriously, I'd say, "Why are you sentencing that person to remain unemployed? You want them to just die?"
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Old 15th March 2017, 01:01 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
Not a single person that asserted their legal rights was hired, even though several of us had been running circles around the other trainees on things like cash register skills.

I ended up taking a completely different job that required being bonded. There was a valid reason for it, and I was rapidly approved since I had a spotless record. But some places wouldn't hire, even for fast food, without a pre-employment polygraph, whether it was legal or not. So why would I think that employers would be better about that sort of thing now?
Suppose they aren't, how does this change anything?

A hiring criteria can either filter out candidates you don't want, those you want, or do nothing significant either way. (Your polygraph example is in last category.) But so what? You are not being treated unfairly so long as the test is administered to everyone. If you have misgivings about taking it, you self-select out and are free to do so.

Suppose, for the second job, I didn't think bonding served any useful purpose and refused to get bonded. Should I still get hired? No. Does the employer have to prove to me that bonding makes me a better candidate? No.

On the other hand, employers have to suffer from whatever filter mechanisms they adopt - losing the opportunity to hire some candidates who might be better at the job.

What seems to be missing here is that employers want good employees. The purpose of an HR department is not to not-hire, it's to find the right person for the job. We are focusing on the wrong side of the equation.
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Old 15th March 2017, 07:00 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

snipped...

What is it you wish to conceal by hiding your DNA, and why? Are you OK with an employer concealing relevant matters of fact about the job which impact your net wages adversely?

"No, we didn't see any reason to disclose all the 401(k) money was being invested in my aunt Lucy's honey bee farm in Nome. Why would we?"

Transparency builds trust. We all want to operate with actual facts. Many of us think it allows for better decisions.
I've been so far down the road that my DNA is probably in some database, but that's besides the point. An employer is not your friend, and they are not your family.

You as an employee have responsibilities as part of that employment that you need to perform satisfactorily. If those responsibilities involve activities that could foreseeably result in death or injury to oneself or others it's appropriate that the employer take measures to ensure that their employee is up to the job and is not impaired on the job.

The employer has no claim on you as an individual past the above. They ought not require an employee or potential employee to reveal to them their sexual preference or practices, their religion, or any other personal information past what needs to be known that directly effects your ability to perform your responsibilities on the job.

Second bolded, false equivalency at it's best.
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Old 15th March 2017, 08:50 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
There is nothing special about information gleaned from DNA. It's just data..
I call BS on this.

DNA isn't "just data". It's possibilities. Having a DNA marker for a certain type of cancer doesn't mean that you *will* get that cancer. It means you're at a higher risk of it than other people. Having a DNA grouping correlated with both migraines and seizure disorders doesn't mean that you *will* have either of those conditions - it means that there's a higher likelihood that you will develop one, the other, or both.

You're giving employers the power to deny employment because of something that *might* happen - because of a possibility. This is directly analogous to giving employers the power to deny employment to women as a whole, because they *might* get pregnant and incur maternity costs.

FFS - you're giving employers the power to deny employment to black people as a whole because they are genetically more *likely* to develop diabetes! Not because they have the condition, not because they will develop it, but because they *might*.
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Old 15th March 2017, 09:04 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You are in that situation now. Unless you conceal your medical condition from future employers. Do you feel your choice now is between staying where you are or just shuffling off to die?
You are wrong. Currently, an employer has NO RIGHT to ask me about my medical conditions. It would be a violation of my HIPPA protected privacy rights. They CANNOT ask me if I have any medical conditions, and they CANNOT deny me employment based on those conditions. End of story.

So yeah, it's a LOT different of a situation that what it would be if they were allowed to require DNA screening.

Let's flip this just a teensy bit: Would you support employers being able to requisition your complete medical history, and use that to make decisions about whether or not to hire you?

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
What about before your diagnosis? Is it your position that you should be able to conceal the truth from a possible employer? What you are describing is theft by fraud. It's as bad as me getting a job at a bank with the intention of someday (maybe when my gambling debts get too high) robbing the bank.
I'm not defrauding anyone! They have no right to that truth - no more than they have any right to know who I sleep with, and what my favorite sex position is. It's not their business. The employer's right ends with whether or not I can perform my job to their expectation, and not one step beyond that.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
And if the company goes bankrupt tomorrow or you are downsized? The problem stems from linking insurance to employment. The only reason employers are interested is because of the potential costs entailed in that equation. What moral justification do you have for requiring the employer to bear the burden of your illness?

I would advocate for a publicly-funded recourse. We have that now. People who are medically disabled don't just die when they leave the job market. They either find employment in another area or they go on welfare. Under what rubric should employers shoulder what is a societal burden?
If you want to decouple employment and insurance, I'm all for it. I'm behind that 100%. But I'm NOT AT ALL behind stacking the deck in the employer's favor and allowing them to deny employment based on a possibility, regardless of my ability to do the job.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Medical information isn't special. It's just information. Good for some things, not so good for others. I think your objection is better directed at the misuse of such information, not on having it at all.
Yes, medical information is special. There's a remarkable amount of other crap wrapped up in medical info. Does a person have AIDS? What kind of implied judgment comes with that? Does that imply that they might be gay, or a drug user, or promiscuous? DO you think employers don't have their own sets of beliefs? Does a person have bipolar disorder? Does that mean they're crazy regardless of how well controlled their condition is? Does a person have PTSD? There's a massive amount of stigma associate with a LOT of medical information.

And no kidding, my objection is very much directed at the misuse of that information. Why on earth would you support a policy that has an extraordinarily high opportunity for misuse and abuse?

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Should airlines be able to test a pilot's vision? That's medical information. We don't squawk because it's information relevant to the job. There's nothing holy about medical information that makes it untouchable.
You are skirting your own point here. It's relevant to the job. If a job requires physically lifting and loading boxes on to trucks, an employer can decline to hire a paraplegic - they are unable to perform the duties of the job. If the medical information is directly and unquestionably relevant to the ability to perform the job duties, then there is some reasonable expectation that such information can be used in making a hiring decision.

The *possibility* that I *might* in the future develop a *costly* condition that does not affect my ability to perform the job duties is absolutely none of the employer's business.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
If you lose your job because of your illness, don't they hire someone to replace you? If I took the hyperbole seriously, I'd say, "Why are you sentencing that person to remain unemployed? You want them to just die?"
You know, I lean toward libertarianism on a lot of subjects, but your inability to reasonably consider the actual ramifications of your stance here is pretty absurd. Is this what you actually believe or are you just playing Devil's Advocate for the sake of argument?
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Old 15th March 2017, 09:11 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
A hiring criteria can either filter out candidates you don't want, those you want, or do nothing significant either way. (Your polygraph example is in last category.) But so what? You are not being treated unfairly so long as the test is administered to everyone. If you have misgivings about taking it, you self-select out and are free to do so.
Lol. Let's put together a scenario here, just for giggles. Think it through please.

Employer requires a polygraph for employment. They won't hire anyone who doesn't consent to a polygraph. Employer is a complete homophobic bigot. During the polygraph, one of the questions they ask is whether you are gay. If you lie, they don't hire you because you failed your polygraph. If you are honest, they don't hire you because you're gay (but they don't have to admit that's the reason why). Now they have the tools with which to filter out gay people from their company.

Does that work for you? Is that an acceptable outcome? Or do you somehow believe that no employer would ever use such methods?

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
On the other hand, employers have to suffer from whatever filter mechanisms they adopt - losing the opportunity to hire some candidates who might be better at the job.
You are aware that there are almost always more applicants than positions, correct? The employer already holds the larger portion of the negotiating power.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
What seems to be missing here is that employers want good employees. The purpose of an HR department is not to not-hire, it's to find the right person for the job. We are focusing on the wrong side of the equation.
Lol, no, we're not. We're focusing on what is reasonable and fair. Sure, some employers want to hire good employees. Some employers don't care about 'good', they want 'cheap'. Some employers want high turn-over because then they don't have to give raises. Some employers want to avoid hiring women, or gay men, or black men. Employers aren't unequivocal bad guys - not at all. But they also aren't white knights only in it for the good of humanity. Don't idealize employers. Don't idealize employees either. Don't idealize anyone, seriously.
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Old 15th March 2017, 09:12 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
I've been so far down the road that my DNA is probably in some database, but that's besides the point. An employer is not your friend, and they are not your family.

You as an employee have responsibilities as part of that employment that you need to perform satisfactorily. If those responsibilities involve activities that could foreseeably result in death or injury to oneself or others it's appropriate that the employer take measures to ensure that their employee is up to the job and is not impaired on the job.

The employer has no claim on you as an individual past the above. They ought not require an employee or potential employee to reveal to them their sexual preference or practices, their religion, or any other personal information past what needs to be known that directly effects your ability to perform your responsibilities on the job.

Second bolded, false equivalency at it's best.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:15 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post

The employer has no claim on you as an individual past the above. They ought not require an employee or potential employee to reveal to them their sexual preference or practices, their religion, or any other personal information past what needs to be known that directly effects your ability to perform your responsibilities on the job.
There are two ways it becomes relevant. The first is if the nature of the job will increase the underlying health risk to the employee. The second is if the employer is offering health insurance and it costs them more to insure someone with an increased risk to develop some health problem. And this would be true for any kind of information - the employer's only interest is in their bottom line.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:22 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Lol. Let's put together a scenario here, just for giggles. Think it through please.

Employer requires a polygraph for employment. They won't hire anyone who doesn't consent to a polygraph. Employer is a complete homophobic bigot. During the polygraph, one of the questions they ask is whether you are gay. If you lie, they don't hire you because you failed your polygraph. If you are honest, they don't hire you because you're gay (but they don't have to admit that's the reason why). Now they have the tools with which to filter out gay people from their company.

Does that work for you? Is that an acceptable outcome? Or do you somehow believe that no employer would ever use such methods?
The point of application of the remedy is not concealing the information in a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The remedy is to disallow discrimination by bigots in hiring - which is exactly what we do now.

Under your idea, the employee would conceal their sexual preference as the only protection. Just as soon as it became known, the employer would be free to fire someone because they were gay. I do not support that.

Further, the gay person has no recourse, because if they allege the employer discriminated based on sexual preference, the employer's response will be, "But we never asked them, we couldn't have known."
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:30 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
The point of application of the remedy is not concealing the information in a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The remedy is to disallow discrimination by bigots in hiring - which is exactly what we do now.

Under your idea, the employee would conceal their sexual preference as the only protection. Just as soon as it became known, the employer would be free to fire someone because they were gay. I do not support that.

Further, the gay person has no recourse, because if they allege the employer discriminated based on sexual preference, the employer's response will be, "But we never asked them, we couldn't have known."
How do you tell? How do you tell that the reason they weren't hired was because of their sexuality? What prevents the employer from simply claiming it was some other reason?
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:39 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
Let's flip this just a teensy bit: Would you support employers being able to requisition your complete medical history, and use that to make decisions about whether or not to hire you?
Certainly. So long as it was accurate. In fact, a pre-employment physical is fairly common.

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I'm not defrauding anyone! They have no right to that truth - no more than they have any right to know who I sleep with, and what my favorite sex position is. It's not their business. The employer's right ends with whether or not I can perform my job to their expectation, and not one step beyond that.
The premise is that it costs the employer more to hire one person rather than another. That's why it's relevant.

Presumably you wouldn't complain about employers who hired based on height (my warehouse has high shelves, so no one under 5'6" need apply) or if they are right-handed (all my specialty tooling is designed for right handers) - even though those are genetically related. We could demand the employer alter the working conditions to allow short, left-handed people a job, but that's an added expense to the employer and needs to be justified.

If I have a genetic disposition to develop medical condition X, no one knows for sure that I'll get it. We don't yet know if I will cost the employer more. But, to be a disposition, it has to have a substantially higher probability of happening to me than the applicant next to me.

My proposed solution - which makes me hire-able and doesn't increase expenses to the employer - is to carve out that medical condition from the employer's insurance policy. In the same way an employer can save money if they only hire non-smokers.

I am in the position of a short person who agrees to buy lift shoes. I make myself eligible for the job by taking on the added expense. Perhaps I can self insure for my genetic defect, or pay the difference between the normal and higher premium.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:44 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
How do you tell? How do you tell that the reason they weren't hired was because of their sexuality? What prevents the employer from simply claiming it was some other reason?
How do we tell now?

Discrimination in employment is an ongoing problem unrelated to the question, unless you think medical information is the basis for bigotry - which it might be - but then we have the same regulatory mechanism in play.

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Old 15th March 2017, 10:45 AM   #116
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marplots, do you understand that your proposal would make many people effectively unhirable, regardless of their ability to do the job?

Yes, I am making this personal. Do you understand that your proposal would make me, personally, unable to get a job, and realistically also make me, personally, unable to get access to the drugs that keep me from having seizures?
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:47 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
How do we tell now?
That was my question to you. Why don't you answer it with an answer instead of deflecting with another question?

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Discrimination in employment is an ongoing problem unrelated to the question, unless you think medical information is the basis for bigotry - which it might be - but then we have the same regulatory mechanism in play.
What regulatory mechanism is that?

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You are in the insurance biz, aren't you? Don't employers have access to medical information by way of insurance already? Are there "medical bigots?"
No, employers do NOT have access to medical information by way of insurance. They have access to aggregate claim amounts, but they do not have access to the claims of any individual person, nor do they have access to any diagnoses or procedures for any of their employees or their employees' dependents. It would be both inappropriate and unethical for them to have access to such information.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:53 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
That was my question to you. Why don't you answer it with an answer instead of deflecting with another question?


What regulatory mechanism is that?
I don't know how employment discrimination law plays out. My point was that the question doesn't impact the landscape either way. Discrimination is neither helped nor harmed by what I suggest.
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Old 15th March 2017, 10:55 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
There are two ways it becomes relevant. The first is if the nature of the job will increase the underlying health risk to the employee. The second is if the employer is offering health insurance and it costs them more to insure someone with an increased risk to develop some health problem. And this would be true for any kind of information - the employer's only interest is in their bottom line.
As it regards health insurance coverage at present, an employer paid health plan has one monthly rate across the board. Insurance coverage through employment is priced by group, not by individuals. When the coverage on the contract I work under changed from a lifetime cap of 2 million coverage to coverage of up to 2 million per year there was no increase in the monthly H & W contribution - our plan also covers dependents and includes retiree coverage and it comes at a price - over $2,000.00 per employee per month.

For the most part, employers providing health coverage for their employees do so through an insurer of one type or another, and under current HIPAA rules an employer doesn't have a right to know anything about an employee's current health issues, let alone what possible future issues they may have.
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Old 15th March 2017, 11:02 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
marplots, do you understand that your proposal would make many people effectively unhirable, regardless of their ability to do the job?
No, that's incorrect. Jobs and people both come in a wide variety. There is no one-size-fits-all. Even as a felon I was able to find work. It wasn't my preferred work, but I wasn't unemployable.

Quote:
Yes, I am making this personal. Do you understand that your proposal would make me, personally, unable to get a job, and realistically also make me, personally, unable to get access to the drugs that keep me from having seizures?
A potential employer did not give you the disease. Under what moral precept do you feel they should pay for your treatment?
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