Privacy Act

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PRIVACY ACT

purports to protect personal information that is held bythe federal state agencies. This information should be safeguardedand not shared unless on special exemptions provided for in the Act.

Summary of the Article

In a bid to promote American worker’s health, the Congress isseeking to enact a law that will enable employers obtain geneticinformation about employees within their portfolio. The law which isseen by employers as a prudent policy aimed at creating a soundemployee health plan, boosts employees’ health status and lowercosts involved in health care. It will enable companies to acquireprivate employee information. Recently the provision of insurancemedical cover by employers has been expensive, and the policy willhelp companies reduce their expenditure on the health costs.

However, the new bill has faced criticism because it is seen as aviolation of the employee privacy which is protected by the statethrough various Acts such as genetic information nondiscriminatoryAct and Americans with Disabilities Act. A critic of the policy isbased on the ideology that, provision of the genetic informationmight act as a source of workplace discrimination based on employee’shealth history.

Impact on Human Resource Policy

Enactment of the policy will grant companies the right to create lawscompelling their employees to provide information they considerprivate involuntarily. Employers will capture this requirement intheir employees’ contracts creating a dilemma on the part of theemployee to choose between signing employment contracts or toquitting their jobs.

Employers have been catering for the insurance medical cover fortheir employees, and since the current policy will help reduce thecost incurred by the companies, workers will be forced to provide theinformation. Failure to provide the employer with the information asprovided for, may attract charges on the employees.

References

Foxx, V. (2017, March 02). Text -H.R.1313 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Preserving Employee WellnessPrograms Act. Retrieved March 27, 2017, fromhttps://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1313/text