GENETIC DISCRIMINATION: Wilson Signs Prevention Bill Into Law
Employers in California will no longer be allowed to discriminate against "healthy workers who are predisposed to a hereditary disease" under a bill Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law yesterday. The AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the bill, sponsored by state Sen. Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton), "will stop employers from using genetic markers to deny employment to a person who has no symptoms of a disease," such as breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease or any other genetically linked disease (7/7). While current state law prohibits discrimination in employment-related matters on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex or age, SB 654 defines "medical condition" to include "genetic characteristics" (bill text, 7/7). The AP/Union- Tribune notes that the American Cancer Society, the California Medical Association and the American Civil Liberties Union all supported Johnston's measure (7/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.