Settlement Reached in Case of Genetic Testing for CTS
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 testing. 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.