Earlier this year, Ergoweb brought you the story of a railway company which was accused by its employees of conducting genetic testing without their consent.
From Ergoweb’s Ergoflash 2/21/01
Is Your MSD In Your DNA?
The Equal Opportunity Commission filed a court
action against Northern Santa Fe Railway Company for requiring employees
diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to undergo DNA testing. Allegedly, the
employer wanted the blood samples to conduct genetic testing to determine a
predisposition to the condition. The court papers state the employees were
asked for blood samples but not asked to consent to their use for genetic
The federal lawsuit was settled on Wednesday April 18. In the settlement, the Fort Worth, Texas-based Burlington Northern agreed to preserve blood samples, test results and all other data related to the testing until the discrimination complaints are resolved.
The E.E.O.C. said it still has not resolved discrimination complaints filed by dozens of workers and it may seek damages. Of the 125 workers who filed claims for carpal tunnel syndrome since March 2000, 18
were tested, the company has said.