Genetic Nondiscrimination Bill Headed to Bush's Desk

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 493) on a 414-1 vote today, sending the measure to the desk of President Bush, who has indicated he will sign it. The bill will prevent health insurers and employers from using Americans’ genetic information in hiring and coverage decisions.

"As genetic testing becomes more widely available, they hold the potential of longer lives, free of debilitating disease. But many Americans say they forgo testing because they fear losing their jobs or their health insurance," said U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. "The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act will ensure that Americans' personal genetic information will be protected and will not be used for discriminatory purposes."

"Today's passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act proves there is consensus in the country that no person should be told they are going to not get hired, fired, demoted or even lose their health insurance coverage if they don't agree to a genetic test," said Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. "Due to the exceptional bipartisan partnership of [bill sponsors] Congresswomen Slaughter and Biggert, Americans have been provided with an important civil right, which will not only uphold the privacy of their genetic information, but will further help scientists and doctors find cures for an array of diseases that may affect our lives and our loved ones."

Currently, 41 states have passed laws to prohibit discrimination in the individual health insurance market and 34 states ban genetic discrimination in the workplace, according to Miller's committee.

Voting at 6:56 p.m. on Wednesday, the House also passed H.R. 5522, the Worker Protection against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act, which was introduced by Miller and U.S. Rep John Barrow, D-Ga., in the wake of the Feb. 7 explosion at the Imperial Sugar mill in Port Wentworth, Ga. This bill would force OSHA to issue a combustible dust standard. The vote to pass the bill was 247-165, with 22 Republicans joining 225 Democrats in favor.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Comply with OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

    Collect relevant incident data and generate accurate OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 regulatory reports, including 300A CSV files for easy electronic submission to OSHA.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus