Biometric Information in Employment Decisions

In the state of Georgia, State Representative Ed Setzler has introduced a bill to outlaw the use off biometric information in employment decisions. This data includes:

  • Information derived from genetic testing.
  • Biometric information other than genetic testing; provided, however, that this condition may be waived when necessary for employment in positions that involve unaccompanied access to high security areas, intelligence information or children.
  • Any information derived from biometric sensors.
  • Any information derived from personal location tracking technologies.

Additionally, House Bill 276, the Biometric Information Protection Act would bar:

  • Insurers from requiring genetic testing information to determine an applicant’s eligibility or premiums for life insurance.
  • The implanting of sensors or personal location tracking devices.
  • Educational institutions from using biometric information in enrollment decisions.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Congress is currently considering the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (HR 493), which would similarly bar employers and insurers from using genetic information in employment and insurance decisions. The bill has cleared the House Education and Labor Committee. (Source: SHRM Online)

I am not sure how to digest this. I am not one for creating laws just to be creating laws. Is this an issue with anyone? Are any of you out there taking genetic samples of employees or applicants and using this data in your employment practices? Better yet, are any of you implanting devices in your employees to keep track of them? (Well on second thought that might cut down on absenteeism.) I think this legislation is solving a problem that does not exist yet. What do you think?

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