Essay Title: 

Physical Privacy

March 21, 2016 | Author: | Posted in labor studies, social sciences

Was the Settlement at BNR Fair

In 2002 , the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC ) and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNR ) settled a 2 .2 million case that EEOC d against the railway company for genetically testing its employees without consent . While BNR admitted to so doing , the company stressed that it did not do anything wrong (Schafer , 2001

BNR started genetically testing employees after a maintenance worker made compensation claims against the company for allegedly acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome through his job . According to Schafer (2001 , the worker initially [banner_entry_middle]

refused a blood testing but was threatened to be fired by the company . It was the worker ‘s wife , a nurse , who discovered that the company had been genetically testing employees without their knowledge . The million-dollar settlement brought closure to the genetic testing of BNR employees , with assurance from BNR that the occurrences of the case will not be taken against any employee

BNR carried out genetic testing to employees who are making medical claims to prove , with proper medical examination , the viability of the claims and to protect itself from probable workplace health-related lawsuits that may arise from the growing cases . Most claims d were related to carpal tunnel syndrome . Scientists , however , are on a dispute whether genetic testing is the right way to prove the viability of such medical claims

With the case ending with about 36 employees bagging a million worth of settlement from BNR (Duke L Tech , 2002 , the question on the settlement ‘s fairness remains to be a debatable

Two sides of the coin

The question on fairness has two sides . The first side is if the settlement was fair to BNR , or the employers in general . The second side is if the settlement is fair to the employees , or the workforce in general

Whether it is fair for BNR and employers is a question of the purpose of genetic testing . The EEOC-BNR case was grounded on The Americans with Disabilities Act . Apart from this , imposing against genetic testing in the workplace can be taken in three other standpoints according to the law , according to Duke L Tech (2002 : the prohibition of the constitution against illegal searches and seizure , the Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 , and state legislations across the country against discriminating employees on the basis of genetic test results . If the company genetically tests employees or applicants before they are hired or promoted , the company has a liability against the law . Likewise , if the company carries out a genetic testing without the knowledge of employees , whether it is to prove the viability of a medical condition or some other reasons , the company shall be answerable to the court

On the other hand , a company may be right to utilize genetic testing to help employees or to protect the company , such as to certify a medical condition that an employee is filing for the sake of financial claims though the company has to have consent from the employees being… [banner_entry_footer]

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