Sharing Your Genetic Test Results At Work
August 31, 2015
Though you may need to take time off for genetic testing just as you would for a doctor’s appointment, you don’t have to share your medical or genetic information with your employers. Your results, as well as the testing process, are personal.
The only time you may need to disclose medical information is to use disability benefits, change your work hours or take time off for longer procedures like surgery. In such cases, your employer only needs information about the treatment or surgery, not your genetic test results. If you need to disclose medical information, talk with your company’s human resources representative, who is required by law to keep your information private.
Still, many people get important support from their coworkers or peers. If you choose to tell someone you trust at work about your genetic test results, you don’t need to worry about your employers finding out about your medical background.
Laws, like the 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) , protect you. Employers are not allowed to ask you about your genetic information, ask you to take leave, fire you or change your work duties because you carry a genetic mutation that may cause health issues. It’s also illegal for potential employers to ask for genetic information during interviews or to choose not to hire you if they know about genetic test results.